July 8, 2019 - Philadelphia Museum of Art - Designs for Different Futures
July 8, 2019

Philadelphia Museum of Art

IMAGE 3, Alien Nation: Parade 0, designed 2017 by Lisa Hartje Moura for HEAD-Genève (Private Collection). © Head-Genève, Michel Giesbrecht, 2017. Image courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2019.

 

Designs for Different Futures
October 22, 2019–March 8, 2020

Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19130
USA
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–5pm,
Wednesday and Friday 10am–8:45pm

T +1 215 684 7860
pressroom@philamuseum.org

philamuseum.org
Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / YouTube / Pinterest / Tumblr

Designs for Different Futures
October 22, 2019–March 8, 2020

Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19130
USA
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–5pm,
Wednesday and Friday 10am–8:45pm

T +1 215 684 7860
pressroom@philamuseum.org

philamuseum.org
Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / YouTube / Pinterest / Tumblr

Philadelphia Museum of Art
October 22, 2019–March 8, 2020

Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
September 12, 2020–January 3, 2021

Art Institute of Chicago
February 6–May 16, 2021 

Whether it’s apocalyptic, utopian, or still up for grabs, the future is a perennial source of inspiration for designers. Join us as we explore visionary and sometimes controversial designs that promise to transform how we live, eat, heal, travel, and even love, in any number of possible futures. From lab-grown food and robotic companions to citizenship exchange and a digital kiss messenger, discover imaginative ideas that respond to human civilization’s future needs, desires, and fears.

The role of designers in shaping how we think about the future is the subject of a major exhibition that will premiere at the Philadelphia Museum of Art this fall. Designs for Different Futures brings together some 80 works that address the challenges and opportunities that humans may encounter in the years, decades, and centuries ahead. Organized by and on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Among the questions today’s designers seek to answer are: What role can technology play in our augmenting or replacing a broad range of human activities? Can intimacy be maintained at a distance? How can we negotiate privacy in a world in which the sharing and use of personal information has blurred traditional boundaries? How might we use design to help heal or augment ourselves, bodily and psychologically? How will we feed an ever-growing population?

While no one can precisely predict the shape of things to come, the works in the exhibition are firmly fixed on the future, providing design solutions for a number of speculative scenarios that are borne in some instances of a sense of anxiety and in others of a sense of excitement over new possibilities that can be created through the use of new materials, new technologies, and, most importantly, new ideas.

Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, stated: “We often think of art museums as places that foster a dialogue between the past and the present, but they also can and should be places that inspire us to think about the future and to ask how artists and designers can help us think creatively about it. We are delighted to be able to collaborate with the Walker Art Center and the Art Institute of Chicago on this engaging project, which will offer our visitors 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 to and will bequeath as a legacy to future generations.”

Thinking about the future has always been part of the human condition. It has also been a perennial field of inquiry for designers and architects whose speculations on this subject—ranging from the concrete to the whimsical—can profoundly affect how we imagine what is to come. Among the many alternative visions to the future, visitors to Designs for Different Futures will see lab-grown food, robotic companions, digital kiss messengers, family leave policy proposals, and textiles made of seaweed.

“Some of these possibilities will come to fruition, while others will remain dreams or even threats,” said Kathryn Hiesinger, the J. Mahlon Buck, Jr. Family Senior Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700, who coordinated the exhibition in Philadelphia with former assistant curator Michelle Millar Fisher. “We’d like visitors to join us as we present designs that consider the possible, debate the inevitable, and weigh the alternatives. This exhibition explores how design—understood expansively—can help us all grapple with what might be on the horizon and allows our imaginations to take flight.”

Related
Share
More
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Share - Designs for Different Futures
  • Share
Close
Next