Art Thinking School

In 2023, the first fruits of the Art Thinking School – part of the Art Thinking Initiative of Hakuhodo Inc. and Ars Electronica Futurelab – were harvested. As part of six Inspiration Talks, Ars Electronica artists and researchers were able to use their wide-ranging expertise to shed new light on society and industry from the perspective of art. The Ars Electronica Futurelab also presented a new workshop concept with which companies can create tangible visions of the future.

The Art Thinking School aims to embed more creativity in Japanese industries so that they can tackle global challenges with foresight. The Ars Electronica Futurelab contributes to the Art Thinking School by providing methodologies and creative content, and by developing educational tools.

By asking critical questions before embarking on solution-oriented design, the Art Thinking School emphasizes the idea of future-oriented creative thinking as a driving force for a successful economy in the advancing 21st century. The Art Thinking school strives to complement Hakuhodo’s core philosophy of “People Thinking” – i.e. society-oriented thinking – with “Art Thinking” – artistic thinking.

Inspiration from Ars Electronica

The topics of the Inspiration Talks 2023 included the philosophy of Art Thinking and which artistic projects at the Ars Electronica Center relate to it, as well as the Ars Electronica Festival theme of 2023, “Who owns the truth?”. In addition, Ars Electronica artists and researchers provided insights into the Ars Electronica Center’s Open Labs and explained the importance of artistic creation in the context of artificial intelligence and symbiosis, as well as the collaboration between humans and robots. Interested audiences had the opportunity to access the lecture series on the Art Thinking School website to gain new perspectives.

New workshop for tangible future rooms

In addition to the Inspiration Talks, the Ars Electronica Futurelab presented a new workshop concept that focuses on brand transformation and invites companies to reframe their current future visions. By critically examining the company’s current values, alternative future scenarios are designed. However, the imagined scenarios should not only remain in the minds of the participants, but the idea is that they transform them into vibrant three-dimensional future rooms in order to present the concepts tangibly as counter-models to the previous visions. The outcome of the workshop is a first draft of the future rooms, while there is the opportunity to further develop them into exhibition spaces and combine them with innovative technology.

In the coming years, research will continue on creative thinking tools and strategies for companies as part of the Art Thinking School. In the course of this process, an Art Thinking Tool Collection is being developed, providing companies with various methods for introducing more creative thinking and action into their processes.


Ars Electronica Futurelab: Denise Hirtenfelder, Kyoko Kunoh, Hideaki Ogawa,
Yoko Shimizu
Ars Electronica: Christl Baur, Michaela Obermayer, Emiko Ogawa
PARTNER: Hakuhodo Inc. (JP)

Related Projects

Take a look at some of our other projects

From our never-ending list of ideas and concepts we have compiled a selection of works related to the topics addressed in this project. An overview of all our productions, cooperations and projects can be found in our continuously growing project archive.