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Get Ready

For its 175th anniversary, the Smithsonian is looking forward.

What do you think of when you think of the future? FUTURES is the first building-wide exploration of the future on the National Mall, spanning 32,000 square feet. Opening in late 2021 and on view until Summer 2022, FUTURES is your guide to a vast array of interactives, artworks, technologies, and ideas that are glimpses into humanity’s next chapter. You are, after all, only the latest in a long line of future makers.

Smell a molecule. Clean your clothes in a wetland. Meditate with an AI robot. Travel through space and time. Watch water being harvested from air. Become an emoji. The FUTURES is yours to decide, debate, delight. We invite you to dream big, and imagine not just one future, but many possible futures on the horizon—playful, sustainable, inclusive. 

In moments of great change, we dare to be hopeful. How will you create the future you want to live in? 

Explore

175th Anniversary Celebration

For 175 years and beyond, the Smithsonian has explored the origins of the universe, the sustainability of life on the planet, the full diversity of American history, and human creativity. The Smithsonian is an engine of the future. 

Smithsonian at 175

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Exterior Installation

Cross the threshold to the future at AIB’s entrance as you step through contemporary artist Soo Sunny Park’s Expanded Present, an ethereal portal of iridescent material designed to inspire and delight. 

A Shimmering New Gateway from Soo Sunny Park

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Exhibition Posters

Digital artist Nettrice Gaskins used algorithms and machine learning, including A.I. neural network Deep Dream, to create 11 portraits of futurists featured in the exhibition. 

Portraits from a Neural Network

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New!

What do we dream of? Award-winning filmmakers answer this question by showcasing stories of hope and resilience from everyday people making a difference across the country. This new series of commissioned documentary shorts is brought to life thanks to Co-Chairs LL COOL J and Kevin Bright along with nationally acclaimed nonprofit The Alliance for Media Arts + Culture.

"Futures We Dream" Documentary Series

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New + Cool

New!

Five leading contemporary artists create AIB-specific works for their Smithsonian debuts. Beatriz Cortez, Nettrice Gaskins, Soo Sunny Park, Devan Shimoyama, and Tamiko Thiel and/p work in such diverse media as augmented reality, A.I., found objects, and industrial materials. You won’t want to miss these stunning portals into possible worlds on the horizon.

Five Contemporary Artists Imagine Future Worlds

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The future of art

What if an artwork could respond to your voice? me + you from globally renowned artist and architect Suchi Reddy will invite visitors to speak their future vision as an AI algorithm translates meaning, tone, and sentiment into a unique mandala of color and light. Human wisdom and intelligent technology will be woven together to create a constantly evolving visualization of collective futures in the sculpture’s central totem. This groundbreaking public artwork marks Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) first-ever major contemporary art commission.

Read more about amazon web services

The future of design

What if future cities were created by everyone who lives within them? Bring your creativity and sense of play to co-design sustainable and inclusive communities in real time alongside an artificial intelligence (AI) design partner at “The Co-Lab.” This first-of-its-kind collaborative design experience, developed with Autodesk, will allow you to develop new ideas, faster, in a way that solves huge design problems.

Read more about hyperloop

Hyperloop pegasus pod

The future of travel

Be among the first to marvel at Virgin Hyperloop’s Pegasus pod, which made history in November 2020 when its first passengers completed a successful trial run. With speeds of up to 800 miles per hour, hyperloop travel will be the fastest means of land-based travel yet. Distances that once took months to travel, and now take hours, will require just minutes. Buckle up!

read more about hyperloop

Founding Futurists

autodesk logo
Qatar logo

DAVID M. RUBENSTEIN

JOHN & ADRIENNE MARS

JACQUELINE B. MARS

Major Sponsors

KEVIN S. BRIGHT & CLAUDIA W. BRIGHT

Annenberg

ROBERT KOGOD

Bloomberg Logo
Supporting Sponsors

JOHN BROCK III

SUZANNE NORA JOHNSON & DAVID JOHNSON FOUNDATION

Contributing Sponsors

WENDY DAYTON

CHARLIE & NANCY HOGAN

Lyda Hill Philanthropies
Additional special and in-kind gifts provided by:

ACCESS SMITHSONIAN

JOSH & SARAH EASTRIGHT

KUKA

DR. JORGE G. PUENTE & DR. PATRICIA MATOS-PUENTE

IVAN SELIN

BOB AND JOAN CATELL

SAMEER GANDHI

JESSIE KELLEY

RESEMBLE

THE SECRETARY OF THE SMITHSONIAN & THE SMITHSONIAN NATIONAL BOARD

VIN DI BONA

GOODBY SILVERSTEIN & PARTNERS

MARVEL STUDIOS

MARTY RODGERS

FUTURES RECEIVED FEDERAL SUPPORT FROM THE ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN INITIATIVES POOL, ADMINISTERED BY THE SMITHSONIAN ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN CENTER