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Laurissilva Futures Workshop

  • Oct 16 / 2014
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Laurissilva Futures Workshop


Background Information

Prologue: A Madeiran specific Transmedia Experience

In the context of the EU-funded Future Fabulators project at M-ITI, we conceived and designed a locally inspired context-aware transmedia story. Drawing inspiration from a creative writing workshop and future scenario sessions, we developed a fictional story around two central themes: the past-present-future impact of human settlement on a particular ecosystem, in this case the centuries-old ‘living lab’ and UNESCO-protected wilderness of Madeira; and the healing properties of local flora as explored in folk remedies. We are working with biologists and ethnobotanists of the University of Madeira in order to research and adapt the story plot with the biology and botanic relevant information.

The Laura Silva story experience starts when from a dystrophic future a request for help reaches the contemporary audience.

Something went wrong in some time in space and the world as we know it ceased to exist. The audience is asked to embarque on a quest of a lost book of knowledge about the Madeiran special and medicinal plants that could have the power to reverse or improve things in the future.

The Transmedia story takes place in Madeira during the 18th century, when it served as a busy port for transatlantic trade. Our heroine, Laura Silva, is a young woman who discovers in Madeira’s unique forest plants and flowers with healing properties. She then uses them to help the people of the island and catalogues her findings in a vast herbarium – an annotated and illustrated book with samples of medicinal plants – but the book goes missing.

The trans media experience will push the audience to embark on a quest to find the herbarium or endangered plant species. The content is being researched and produced with the collaboration of Dr. ra Susana Fontinha and her team of researchers, Fabio Reis and Dina Henriques, from ISOplexis, the Genetics and Biotechnology research centre  from the University of Madeira.  The experience will be mediated through a custom made mobile application that will provide location-aware sensing to guide the audience in discovering parts of the story that lead to the book. Physical narrations sets will set the start and the end of the experience (inspired or adapted by the Lucid Dreaming sets). Future Scenarios developed in the context of the story (during the November workshop) will enlighten the audience about its possible futures.

The Laurel Forest

This original forest of the tertiary geological era subsists only in the Madeira, Azores and Canaries. Madeira has the largest and best preserved Laurissilva of the world, which was designated in 1999 as a World Natural Heritage by UNESCO. This forest is an ecosystem of high scientific value which support many endemic species of flora and fauna. Despite existing legal protection, the Laurel forest is threatened by the increasing dispersion of alien plants and the occurrence of fire.

Goal of the workshop

The goal for the workshop will be to imagine future scenarios where the Laurel forest and its potential are portrait.

Provisional Workplan

 Day 1

10:00 – Experience Prototype 

MITI sets up the experience prototype of the Laura Silva Transmedia story experience in Ponta do Sol.

Future Fabulators workshop participants try it and give feedback.

Presentation of the Natural biodiversity and Laurel Forest by Dr. ra Susana Fontinha

 12:30- Light Lunch Break

 14.00 – Guided Laurissillva Levada Walk & Fanal

Guided tour to a Levada walk in the heart of the Laurel Forest – Risco levada

The participants will have the opportunity to experience and get to know the Laurel Forest guided by Dr. ra Susana and her researchers Dina Henriques  and Fabio Reis

 20.00 – Dinner and chill out at Estalagem

 Day 2

Future Scenario Session on the Future of Laurisilva

FoAm will lead the session to promote future scenarios for the Laurisilva forest

 10:00 –  Session 1 – Laurisilva Futures Workshop 

 13:00 – Lunch Break

14:00 – Session 2 – Laurisilva Futures Workshop continued

20.00 – Dinner and drinks in the village


Workshop participants

MITI: Valentina Nisi, Mara Dionisio, Julian Hanna, Giovanni Innella

UMa: Susana Fontinha, Dina Henriques, Mauricio Reis

FoAm: Maia Kuzmanivic, Nik Gaffney

Times Up: Tina Auer, Tim Boykett, Alex Davies

AltArt: Rariza Zabranca, Istvan Szakats






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