Therme Art Program

Introducing Wellbeing City Culture Forum

The Wellbeing City Culture Forum is a series of discussions in virtual environments catalysed by the present pandemic. Gathering experts from diverse fields, it will foster the necessary collaboration and knowledge transfer to realise a vision of the city in symbiosis with the natural world, generating a holistic approach towards the health of humans and our environment. It will shed light on possibilities for dealing with future crisis situations through the adaptation of our cities and habits through a shift in cultural programming.



Culture and Crisis:
The Urgent Role of Culture and Creativity in Crisis
29 April, 2020

COVID-19 has shown the incompatibility of certain cultural practices and modes of behaviour with continued human life. The doorknob, for example is known to transmit disease, but is hardwired in contemporary human life. It should have been replaced long ago, but it wasn’t – due to cultural programming. This example shows that culture plays a much more important role than we generally admit. No change can happen without taking cultural practices into account.

To ensure the viability of future life, large-scale cultural adaptation is now needed. This interdisciplinary session will consider the role of culture in this widest possible sense, exploring the urgency in developing new cultural technologies. Learn more about the session and register here.



Culture and Nature:
The Experience and Extinction of Nature
6 May, 2020

An unmediated experience of nature has been lost in our cities. Without this experience, we are blind, unable to live in harmony with our environment. This session, led by the explorer Johan Ernst Nilson, will bring us back to the experience of nature. Having been directly exposed to the primal forces of nature on more than 100 expeditions, Nilson’s vital perspective will help elevate us to another perspective. Sharing insights gained from his long career, Nilson will speak on the lessons to be learned from nature. Rather than arguing for “saving” nature, Nilson shows us that it is about saving ourselves. We are a part of nature. This perspective change is vital to create the Wellbeing City: a city built on the wellbeing of its human population as well as the natural environment. Learn more about the session and register here.


Plant Culture:
Designing the City of Trees
13 May, 2020

Led by botanist and author Stefano Mancuso, this session will explore plant intelligence. Mancuso has shown that plants are highly intelligent organisms. Their survival is based on constant communication, collaboration and adaptation in response to their ecosystem. Based on our own behaviour and the threat of impending climate breakdown, we might have to rethink human intelligence. We do not appear to be a particularly successful species. This session will explore the lessons to be learned from plants, and how their collaborative intelligence can be a touchstone for the Wellbeing City. It will also examine the role of art and culture in this translation process, and its capacity to propose new understandings of intelligence. Learn more about the session and register here.


Molecular Culture:
Shifting Perspective Towards the Invisible
20 May, 2020

COVID-19 has illuminated the importance of the invisible. Though we tend to ignore it, this realm has a much stronger impact than anything we can see. This applies to the perspective of the microbiological as well as the astrophysical. Hosting billions of microscopic organisms like bacteria and viruses, the human is an ecosystem embedded in other ecosystems. This session will explore the importance of this molecular perspective for the Wellbeing City, and the cultural and behavioural implications of this holistic view. Learn more about the session and register here.


Health Culture:
Shifting from Reactive to Pre-emptive Health Culture
27 May, 2020

The present COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated the problem of an approach centred on treating health issues, rather than preventing them before they become problematic. Health and Culture will be an opportunity to discuss the necessary shift to a pre-emptive healthcare model at the heart of the Wellbeing City. Featuring participants from culture and science, the discussion will examine the question of health within the Wellbeing City, and the steps required to reach a place of both human and environmental health. Learn more about the session and register here.