Department of Dreams Lead


The Floating Front Room
South Loop Park, Rotton Park Street, Birmingham, B16 0AE


30 Oct 2021


1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Department of Nightmares

Imagine you’re now living in the year 2040. The world has become a very different place. Some of your dreams may have come true, but maybe so have some of your nightmares.

In October 2040 a new museum, Department of Nightmares, has opened in Birmingham. The museum’s exhibitions look back to the collective fears and societal nightmares of people living just two decades earlier; aka our present day.

Through the satirical lens of exploring the history of outdated Halloween traditions, Department of Nightmares provokes a new perspective on the now and our relationship to the potential future(s) which lie ahead using immersive storytelling. The result is a thought-provoking, alternative experience for the spooky season, with a wider invitation to explore regenerative futures with us through Department of Dreams.

Displays to discover include: Welcome to Department of Nightmares, Pumpkins of the Past, Fearful Future Front Room, Nightmare Newspaper, Make Your Own Monster and Tools Of The Time, and we invite you to dress up as yourself in 2040 to attend if you would like to.

This event is hosted in person at South Loop Park, Rotton Park Street, Birmingham, B16 0AE. The interactive exhibition runs 1pm – 5pm, and is immersive, artist-led and family friendly. If you would like to ask any questions or let us know anything that would make your visit more comfortable, please e-mail us at

About Department of Dreams

Department of Dreams is part of CIVIC SQUARE and its work to shape regenerative futures.

In its earliest guise, Department of Dreams was an acknowledgement that when investing in the dark matter of large scale system change, we must also invest in the dream matter – the artists, writers, designers, dreamers and creative visionaries – those who dare to dream up bold new futures for humanity, and have the capacity to stretch our imaginations further than we ever thought possible.

First outlined in a systems design lab by Impact Hub Birmingham and Dark Matter Labs back in 2018, the Department of Dreams now takes up its place as a long-term piece of work as part of CIVIC SQUARE’s broad mission that will be used in many different ways throughout our organisation and others to shape regenerative futures. The Department sits within the Regenerative Neighbourhood Economics Lab in order to enable its continual development, and foster its crucial importance as an open tool and connector across different worlds.

In 2020 Department of Dreams hosted Re_ Festival, 6 days of talks, conversations, workshops and creative interventions, Re_ Collective, convening a cohort of pioneering leaders from across the UK exploring, building and fighting for a just recovery alongside their communities, in partnership with UnLtd, and distributed over 100 commissions through the Dream Fund to unlock and resource the bold, creative, regenerative* dreams that are inside us and move them into the everyday consciousness of many.

Now with an assembled portfolio team, we are currently building the Dream Library, the beginnings of a shared galaxy of knowledge, inspiration, questions and practical ideas hosted online for anyone to make use of and contribute to, including being the digital home to the Dream Fund commissions in the open, as well as finalising our next 12 months of activity that lies ahead for 2022, which we invite you to discover with us.

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