SKULD — An Accelerated Environmental Simulation to Visualize Potential Futures

For NODE20, the team of researchers in Natural Computing and Deep Simulation at Norn Lab (University of Oldenberg) has collaborated with game designers to present a public, collaborative version of SKULD — an accelerated environmental simulation to visualize potential futures. Over the course of NODE’s opening weekend, the festival audience will get to decide how we transition into a sustainable future — or if.

The world’s first democratic environmental simulation, SKULD visualizes natural resources management and ecological impact as part of a complex and dynamic ecosystem moderated by individual ideologies. Developed by the team of Prof. Norn at the university of Oldenberg, the interface will be adapted for NODE20 as a participative broadcast, during which visitors’ personal choices directly alter a global landscape where environmental action collides with political trends, cultural artefacts and technological band-aids. Based on an adaptive script, this “negotiate your own adventure” game emulates world dynamics into a regularly-updated visual feed and specialist commentary.

Can you turn off enough lightbulbs to save humanity, or will future trees grow on the ashes of civilization? Remains to be seen!


Berlin, Germany

A Berlin and Paris-based collective lying at the intersection of design and fiction. A mix of the visual, literary, prototypical, and functional, their output creates a rich narrative universe and to some, an anticipated future.

The collective has been noted for its work on augmented reality fashion, shown internationally from the NY Fashion Week, to The National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, speculative public talks, and an eponymous graphic novel series distributed worldwide.

N O R M A L S is also engaged in future imaginary consultancy and mentoring through their ‘Future Fishing Training Program’ with clients such as Accenture, Mexico City, and IASS Potsdam.