The FutureYou2020 Project

FutureYou2020 is an art-research installation encouraging audiences to think about how they imagine the future. The installation normally includes visual representations of Patrick Alexander’s decade-long research interest in how young people are socialised through schooling into particular imaginings of the future. This includes drawings from research participants, partial interview transcripts, personal statements for university, and more.  The installation also includes a soundscape consisting of original musical composition and excerpts from research data, sometimes performed live. Finally the installation involves activities through which audiences can engage directly with the research themes. The most popular activity in the installation is the FutureYou letter writing activity, where participants write themselves a letter in the future, expressing, hopes, fears, or dreams for what their lives will look like beyond the present. Patrick stores these letters without opening them, and then sends them back to participants years into the future, as a kind of exercise in time travel.This activity is replicated here in digital form. Future You2020 has been showcased across a number of venues from 2017-2020 including the Ashmolean Museum; Bodleian Library; Pegasus Theatre; Oxford Festival of Ideas; Oxford Science Bazaar. 

FUTUREYOU2020: A Film by Mark Jones

In 2018 Patrick began an art-research collaboration with filmmaker Richard Jones, who shares an interest in representing people’s perceptions of life, meaning, and the future. The film FutureYou2020, showcased here, is the first in a series of films in progress that will explore the concept of the future and how people imagine their place in it.

The film was recently showcased at the Oxford Science Bazaar (Feb 2021)

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School’s Out Forever

Here’s a recent talk I gave for the Oxford Brookes ‘Brave New World’ seminar series. In the talk I explore what new possibilities there may be to re-imagine schooling after the coronavirus pandemic. In particular, I argue that it’s time to move away from age- and phase-based schooling limited to assessed curricula and the physicalContinue reading “School’s Out Forever”

Schooling and Social Identity: new podcast I had a great time recently chatting with Mark Taylor of Education on Fire about Schooling and Social Identity. It’s an important time to be asking critical questions about schooling and socialisation. Is the current age-based system of organising learning in schools in need of radical change? Dr. Patrick Alexander from Oxford Brookes University sharesContinue reading “Schooling and Social Identity: new podcast”

Schooling and Social Identity: Learning to Act Your Age in Contemporary Britain

My new book with the above title is now out (Feb 2020) with Palgrave Macmillan. You can access the book here: – get your librarian to buy a copy! Here’s an outline of what the book is about: School’s Out, Forever My new book Schooling and Social Identitysuggests that the current age-based system ofContinue reading “Schooling and Social Identity: Learning to Act Your Age in Contemporary Britain”

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