Early Futures founder, Heidi Gustafson, in Northern Washington.
Early Futures founder, Heidi Gustafson, in Northern Washington.
Collecting samples in Colorado.
Collecting samples in Colorado.

About Early Futures Research

Early Futures is the arts research studio of Heidi Gustafson. In collaboration with artists, scientists and researchers worldwide, she works at the intersection of primordial matter, imagination and human evolution. Current projects focus on ochre and iron-based pigment, and earth archival activism.

About Heidi Gustafson

Read about Heidi in Okan Art’s recent article, Heidi Gustafson — Ore Whisperer.

Heidi Gustafson is an interdisciplinary artist, researcher and ochre whisperer raised in the Pacific Northwest. 

She studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art (BFA ’05), University of Baltimore and California Institute of Integral Studies (MA ’14). She’s been an artist-researcher, contemplative alchemist, and teaching artist for over 15 years. 

When she is not working in the studio, traveling for research, or foraging ochre, she also collaborates with her family, including her sister, scientist Claire Gustafson, a brilliant post-doc research fellow at Stanford who studies inner life of the microbiome, and her parents, Gregg Gustafson of Anuraco, a global leader and innovator of real-time environmental monitoring systems, and Jody Gustafson, a beloved OT/PT for children with dwarfism, autism, cerebral palsy and other developmental challenges.

Past Projects

Founded in 2009, Early Futures originally worked in tenuous, alchemical places of the developing human mind. We documented a lot of weird stuff kids said and drew and did. We connected future studies thinking to early childhood education. Outcomes from one of our core projects, the Children’s Think Tank, lead us to follow new research in contemplating the affects of imaginal practice and exercise.