BIOTOPIA is seeking proposals from scientists, artists, performers and designers for installations, workshops, public experiments, immersive experiences, performances and participatory formats for our third BIOTOPIA Festival, dedicated in 2020 to the exploration of the senses of humans, animals, plants, and other living organisms.

We are looking for innovative and creative works from the intersection of (bio-)sciences, art and design that explore the themes around – and beyond – the senses in surprising and unusual ways.

All proposals submitted before the deadline will be considered and evaluated by an interdisciplinary curatorial jury with renowned members within their respective fields, among them:

  • Prof. Dr. Gordon Cheng (Director of Institute for Cognitive Systems, TUM)
  • Prof. Dr. Ophelia Deroy (Philosophy of Mind / CVBE, LMU)
  • Prof. Dr. Michael John Gorman (BIOTOPIA / Life Sciences in Society, LMU)
  • Prof. Dr. Ilona Grunwald Kadow (Neuronal Control of the Metabolism, TUM)
  • Dr. Jens Hauser (Art Curator and Media Studies Scholar, Paris)
  • Dr. Andreas Heinecke (Founder and CEO, Dialogue Social Enterprise GmbH)
Deadline for applications is November 24, 2019, end of the day (CET).

To apply, please download the application package on the right and follow the instructions provided.

Open Call Submission Deadline

November 24, 2019
End of the day (CET)

About Sense - Biotopia Festival
How do different species sense the world? How do we perceive and interpret the world in our brain? How can we emulate and extend the senses?

SENSE will be an exciting multi-sensory experience where visitors’ knowledge about the senses will be challenged and extended. We are bringing together leading scientists, artists, designers, musicians, industry experts, innovators and the public to explore the highly individual experience of sensing in the stunning surroundings of Schloss Nymphenburg, offering a tantalizing variety of events suitable for all ages and all backgrounds.

This next BIOTOPIA Festival explores sensory perception from the intersectional and interspecies perspectives of biology, neurosciences, arts, design, and culture. It brings science, arts, design, industry, and multisensory experiences together and into conversation with the audience through a diverse program of activities with different levels of engagement.

SENSE is the third edition in the series of BIOTOPIA Festivals, leading up to the open-ing of the new museum in 2025. As a 21st-century museum of life sciences and the environment, BIOTOPIA aims to become a world-class destination for the under-standing and appreciation of nature, the promotion of science communication and the dialogue between art and science.
Festival Facts

June 21, 2020

Nature-Culture-Quarter Nymphenburg, Munich, Germany

Which language should I use for my application?
Due to the bilingual nature of BIOTOPIA and the jury, we ask you to prepare your pro­posal in English.
I have more than one idea. Can I submit them all?
Yes, it is possible to submit several proposals, but each needs its own application.
Are all formats equally desired?
We are aiming to create an interdisciplinary, interactive and enticing festival with a range of different types of formats, exhibitions, and events. Therefore, we are indeed equally interested in performances, installations, workshops, events, interactive activities etc. We particularly like immersive and engaging formats as well as programs that are enjoyable to different and diverse audiences.
How accurately do I need to estimate the budget?
We prepared a budget template for you, which we ask you to fill out as accurately as you can. We are aware that some costs are not fully known at this point, but please consider all categories in the template and provide a sound estimation for those applicable. Additionally, help us understand your calculation by adding comments explaining each entry. lf you are selected to be included in the festival, your budget total is the maximum amount we will cover, and you are responsible for planning your total expenses accordingly. The granted sum will be paid as a lump sum (depending on the amount in several installments).
What about costs for my travels to the festival and the mounting of my work?
Both need to be factored into your estimated budget. There will be some support from a general building staff onsite, but anything out of the ordinary, requiring special knowledge and time needs to be reflected in your budget.
I do not live or work in Germany, does that matter?
BIOTOPIA is a bilingual project with connections to local, regional, national, and international communities. We are looking for both local and international contributions, so it does not matter where you work or live. Just be sure to calculate accordingly in your budget (travel and transportation costs, taxes, etc.).
Is it necessary to call for the maximum budget?
No, not at all - this is just as a guidance where our maximum lies. Projects with a smaller budget have a better chance of being funded. The key is a sound and reasonable budget breakdown. lf a project is selected to be included in the festival, but the funding is not available in full, we will try to work something out together with the applicant.
What type and amount of image material can I submit?
For reasons of time and comparability, we ask applicants to include minimum one and maximum three images (or sketches) in the application. You can also include a short video (max. 2 min), sent through an online platform such as WeTransfer or Dropbox.
Do I need to be present during the setup and tear-down as well as throughout the festival?
We want to create a lively festival that serves as a platform for discussions between contributors and audience, but also among contributing artists, scientists, activists etc. and with BIOTOPIA. We therefore very much want the contributors to be present during the festival. In almost all cases, it is also necessary or useful for the applicant to be present during build-up and tear-down to ensure the best possible contribution. The installation of most festival contributions will take place on Saturday, June 20 (with the exception of larger installations in certain venues). The dismantling for the majority of formats will happen at the end of festival day as well as on Monday, June 22.
Are facilitators available?
We will have a number of volunteers and students serving as facilitators to the audience. Based on your instructions and guidance, they will be able to help inform visitors about your work. We will, however, not be able to staff each contribution for the entire duration of the festival.
Are internet access and electricity available?
Yes, internet and electricity can be provided if needed. Please name these requirements in your application form to allow us to provide for these.
ls there a document regulating our collaboration?
Yes, contributors sign an artist agreement containing a description of your contribution, payment schedule and some privacy and liability terms once your proposal has been selected to be included in the festival. If you wish to see the draft of this agreement up front (in German), send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Any Questions?
For further questions, please contact
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Image Credit: Metamorphosis © Robin Moore


Naturkundemuseum Bayern
Botanisches Institut
Menzinger Str. 67
80638 München, Germany

Phone: +49 (0)89 178 61-422
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

© BIOTOPIA - Naturkundemuseum Bayern 2019

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