The Future Starts Here
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
– 4 November 2018
A self-driving car, a printer that also works in outer space, mind-expanding prostheses, and robots: The exhibition “The Future Starts Here” throws the spotlight on the influence design and technology have on the form and development of the future.
On display are over 100 objects, some of them showcased for the first time, that have a profound impact on the human body, politics, and the environment. It includes projects that have existed for some time, as well as those that are yet to be realised. The exhibition is not just about the future, but also about reflecting on the past and present, as it examines progress from a moral and ethical point of view, and encourages the viewer to think about questions such as: “What makes us human?”, “Does democracy still work?” and “Is Edward Snowden a hero or a traitor?”. It not only helps us to imagine the immediate future, but to look at it critically as well. “The Future Starts Here” focuses on four core themes: the home, the public arena, the Earth, and so-called life in the hereafter.
For example, visitors can see the Super Suit designed by the Danish artist group Superflex to support older people with mobility. The suit responds to the natural movements of the body and is able to generate additional muscle power to give the wearer more power to enable them to accomplish everyday tasks.
The results of extensive research and collaboration with a variety of companies, universities, practitioners, and theorists will enable visitors to understand complex issues. In addition to projects inspired by issues such as sustainability and environmental protection, others address the progress made by artificial intelligence, online culture, politics, and new technologies in terms of human abilities. The central question in “The Future Starts Here” is about the direction of social development and how the latest technologies might either expand or replace our humanity.