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New art museum exhibit looks at how design shapes the future

How it impacts cities, jobs, resources, and more

“Another Generosity,” designed 2018 by Eero Lundén, Ron Aasholm, and Carmen Lee of Lundén Architecture Company in collaboration with Bergent, BuroHappold Engineering, and Aalto University (Courtesy of the designers).
Photo, Andrea Ferro. Image courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2019

A new 80-piece exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art will examine the role design plays in addressing problems of population growth, privacy, and more.

Designs for Different Futures opens at the art museum on October 22, and stays there until March. It features 11 themed sections: bodies, cities, resources, earth, generation, intimacies, food, material, power, data, and jobs. Each section will contain pieces that show how design might tackle these topics in the future.

One exhibit in the resources section features a 15-foot inflatable pod that expands and contracts, responding to changing levels of carbon dioxide in the room. Meanwhile the cities section looks at how urban spaces might function in the future, with designs like robotic baby feeders and driverless cars

“(The exhibit is) an opportunity to understand not only how designers are imagining—and responding to—different visions of the futures, but also to understand just how profoundly forward-looking design contributes in our own time to shaping the world that we occupy and will bequeath as a legacy to future generations,” said Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener director and chief executive officer for the museum.

The exhibit will also feature a “future therapies lab” which will have a futures library, along with weekly programs that connect visitors with artists and designers.

Following its stay at the PMA, the exhibit will move to the Art Institute of Chicago in the fall of 2020.

Philadelphia Museum of Art

2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, , PA 19130 Visit Website