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We Know Not What We May Be


Text coming out of someone's mouth

There’s never been greater urgency for change. But what shape could this take and who will be in charge? Join us as we ask if human ingenuity can restore our relationship to each other and the planet.

Following a short talk by a visionary speaker, you’ll be led into the 'factory of the future' – an installation for storytelling, interaction and experimentation that could catapult us towards a transformative future. Working with a host of inspirational experts, among them economists, architects and environmentalists, Zoë Svendsen aims to initiate conversation, challenge our sense of what is possible, and find ways in which we can all take an active part in determining how we live together.

A theatre-maker, dramaturg and Director of METIS, Svendsen develops absorbing, engaging and funny performance projects that highlight contemporary political subjects. 

Click on schedule above to see the full list of speakers and time slots. Visit the METIS website to get more information on the speakers.

Bags and belongings are not allowed in the installation and must be left in the cloakroom outside of the Pit on Level -2.

Part of our 2018 Season, The Art of Change, which explores how artists respond to, reflect and can potentially effect change in the social and political landscape.

Presented by the Barbican. Commissioned and produced by Artsadmin. Also part of the Season for Change: Inspiring Creative Actions on Climate Change

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England with additional support from Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, Barbican London, Cockayne – Grants for the Arts and The London Community Foundation, and University of Cambridge

Developed as part of the Future Scenarios Networked Residency for the Culture and Climate Change project, supported by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Open University and Sheffield University

Schedule - speakers & time slots


‘Ingenious thought experiment … ambitious, provocative and intricate‘
‘This is where World Factory shines as a piece of theatre.The traditional boundaries between audience and subject matter are smashed: we are implicated in the web of the show‘

Part of The Art of Change

Our 2018 season explores how the arts respond to, reflect and potentially effect change in the social and political landscape.


olaf breuning smoke installation at the barbican centre in london

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The Pit