Curated by Heitor Alvelos, FUTUREPLACES has been addressing the dynamics between new media and the socio-cultural fabric since 2008. 

A multitude of workshops, projects, talks, creative events and think-tanks has woven itself onto a wide network of local and international resonance.

An initiative of the UTAustin-Portugal Program in Digital Media.
All free, all welcome.

Welcome to the FUTUREPLACES medialab.

The FuturePlaces annual medialab has come to be a regular staple every October since 2008; after ten highly successful editions, we have come to realise now is the time to press pause and reflect on our heritage and the challenges ahead.

The “Future” is certainly a radically different concept in 2018 when contrasted with what the World envisioned only a decade ago. New media largely felt like a flawless utopia back then… nowadays it raises multiple concerns regarding geo-political impact, pervasive surveillance and the perception and construction of reality, to name a few. Waving a flag of technological development while ignoring these broader symptoms is no longer possible – not that we ever did.

On the other hand, the city of Porto as our ongoing case study has meanwhile undergone deep transformations in its socio-cultural fabric; we are proud to recognise that some of the key agents of these changes found their standing with us.

It is therefore time to re-consider our premises and methodologies: our work will continue in guises to be identified. Meanwhile, a handful of Citizen Labs will be on offer occasionally as a set of testbeds, and duly announced on this page. Stay tuned.

Labs for 2018 here.

Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education Manuel Heitor and FuturePlaces curator Heitor Alvelos

Thanks to all who joined along for the ride. 

Guests for 2017 included
Doreen Lorenzo, Fernanda Rollo and Steven Brown.
The full team here. Bios here. All photos here.

Read our Mission Statement.
Meet our team.
Our fb page has news, comments, updates.

An extensive photographic record of all editions can be found here.
An overview of the various designs throughout the years can be found here.

Not so long ago, social media were heralded as tools for connectivity and solidarity; in some ways they still are, but what we seem to have underestimated is how media are not always necessarily used for common good. So we face quite a few challenges ahead, including the possible unraveling of our perception of truth – even reality itself.
When futureplaces began in 2008, the “future” was largely a utopian projection; these days it seems to have become a constant, volatile alarm sound.
This will be one of the topics addressed throughout futureplaces X.

Now on futureplaces Audiolab:
ANTIFLUFFY featuring the futureplaces impromptu all-stars laptopestra
On a Sentimental Journey: songs that will not live forever.
A CD version will be distributed freely Oct 21 @ Passos Manuel.


Program 2016 here. Footnotes here. The full team here.
Global Voices feature here (PT) and here (EN)
Guests for 2016 included Patricia Aufderheide, Dolores Wilber, and José Pacheco Pereira.

The 2015 edition featured Chris Csikszentmihalyi, Jono Podmore, Anabela Duarte and Paul Stacey.

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