The public can journey into 2050 with Your Future Guide, a unique online experience celebrating the final month of the landmark FUTURES exhibition
What will people’s lives be like in 2050? How do they provide for a future they can’t even imagine? A new digital experience at the Smithsonian’s Arts and Industries Building (AIB) will introduce them to the ideas, objects and inventions that could transform their future.
Your Future Guide is a one-of-a-kind digital experience bringing the landmark FUTURES exhibition—the Smithsonian’s first exploration of the future—to audiences everywhere. AIB’s official future guide for 2050, brought to life through a groundbreaking new blend of machine learning and storytelling, will be available June 22 at yourfutureguide.si.edu.
FUTURES ends July 6th and features more than 150 stunning objects, ideas, prototypes and installations that fuse art, technology, design and history to help visitors envision many possible futures on the horizon. Your Future Guide is designed as a gift to take FUTURES beyond the walls of AIB and to inspire millions more to be more hopeful and flexible about the world to come.
Developed in partnership with award-winning advertising agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners (GS&P), Your Future Guide helps people imagine the future by giving them a tour of it. The project is based on research showing that while most Americans find it difficult to think more than 30 years into the future, it is precisely this type of long-term thinking that allows people to focus on solutions and the future they hold make a Wish. Empathy and the ability to imagine that future, to see yourself in it, is key.
“We’re much more likely to care about a future we can see ourselves in,” said Rachel Goslins, director of the AIB. “Through the magic of these cutting-edge technologies, we are able to give users the otherworldly experience of traveling back in time to a possible future. This experience can inspire us all to become more engaged citizens and more creative problem solvers.”
Your Future Guide begins by learning more about who we are today and the kind of future they would like to see through a series of fun, engaging personality questions. A selection tool works behind the scenes to curate a personalized set of ideas and objects from FUTURES to explore for a tour. Ranging from sustainable food to cryopreservation to the future of transit, these fascinating objects showcase solutions to some of society’s most pressing problems and goals. By bringing museum objects to life in an immersive environment that imagines objects as if they existed in 2050, users can experience first-hand a future previously unimaginable.
After viewing a possible future with the Smithsonian’s official guide, users can commit to creating the future they want. This commitment can be downloaded and shared with others via social media.
“Realizing that people are more likely to care about a future they can see themselves in led to an ambitious idea that we’ve brought to life through a unique technology experience,” said Margaret Johnson, Chief Creative Officer at Shipping “‘ Your Future Guide’ is revolutionizing how people interact with museum exhibits and how they think about the future.”
“It has been exciting to work with Goodby Silverstein & Partners and multiple teams of innovative thinkers on this new leap in Smithsonian virtual learning,” said Goslins.
To create Your Future Guide, GS&P worked with leading creative production studio Unicorns & Unicorns, and teams of dozens of other collaborators and AIB curators were involved in creating and evaluating the ideas and expressions of the experience.
“‘Your Future Guide’ is experimental yet accessible,” said Brad MacDonald, director of digital media at AIB. “It engages digital visitors on a personal and collective level while pushing the boundaries of what a museum exhibit can be.”
FUTURES is the first major building-wide exploration of the Smithsonian’s future and temporarily reopens the institute’s oldest museum for the first time in nearly two decades. Part exhibition, part festival, and designed by award-winning architecture firm Rockwell Group, FUTURES celebrates the Smithsonian’s 175th anniversary with more than 150 stunning objects, ideas, prototypes and installations that fuse art, technology, design and history to bring visitors together to help Imagine many possible futures on the horizon.
On view until July 6th, “FUTURES” is currently open daily except Tuesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with extended opening hours until 7:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Admission is free, season tickets are currently not required. For more information or to schedule a visit, the public can visit aib.si.edu.
FUTURES is made possible by a select group of sponsors and supporters: Amazon Web Services, Autodesk, Bell Textron Inc., Jacqueline B. Mars, John and Adrienne Mars, the Embassy of the State of Qatar, David M. Rubenstein and SoftBank Group. The Annenberg Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Kevin S. Bright and Claudia W. Bright, and Robert Kogod are also big supporters. Additional funding is provided by Accenture, John Brock III, Comcast NBCUniversal, Events DC, First Solar, Ford Motor Company, Wendy Dayton, Charlie and Nancy Hogan, the Suzanne Nora Johnson and David Johnson Foundation, Lyda Hill Philanthropies, MedWand Solutions, the National Football League, the National Football Players Association and Oracle.
About the Arts and Industries Building (AIB)
AIB is a home for those curious about the future. The Smithsonian’s second oldest building opened in 1881 as America’s first national museum, an architectural icon in the heart of the National Mall. Its soaring halls led millions to world-changing wonders—Edison’s lightbulb, the first telephone, Apollo rockets. Dubbed the Palace of Wonders and Mother of Museums, the AIB nurtured new Smithsonian museums for over 120 years before finally closing to the public in 2004. “FUTURES” is a milestone in the first step of the long-term plan to renovate and permanently reopen this landmark space. For more information, see aib.si.edu. Follow the museum on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
About Goodby Silverstein & Partners
Goodby Silverstein & Partners (GS&P) is an internationally-awarded creative company whose mission is “mass intimacy” to create experiences that reach millions and even billions, but seem to appeal to all people individually. Named 2020 Agency of the Year by Campaign, GS&P has created commercials and digital experiences for BMW, HP, Pepsi, Sam Adams, Truly, Frito-Lay, Comcast, E*TRADE, New Yorker Magazine, Adobe and got milk? created. They are also known for artistic installations such as Dalí Lives by the Dalí Museum, which brought artist Salvador Dalí back to life using deepfake technology; the Cheetos Vision app, which debuted at SXSW and used augmented reality to transform the world of humans into Cheetos; and Lessons in Herstory, an app that uses artificial intelligence to include women in school history books.