Keen interest in upcoming The Future Of Us exhibition

The Future Of Us exhibition, which will open on Tuesday at Gardens By The Bay, imagines what daily living would be like in Singapore in 2030. More than 85 per cent of tickets for next month have been snapped up.
The Future Of Us exhibition, which will open on Tuesday at Gardens By The Bay, imagines what daily living would be like in Singapore in 2030. More than 85 per cent of tickets for next month have been snapped up.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Tickets to an upcoming exhibition on what daily living might be like in Singapore in 2030 are going fast, with more than 85 per cent of them snapped up for the opening month of December.

The free exhibition, titled The Future Of Us, will open on Tuesdayat Gardens By The Bay.

Its creative director, Mr Gene Tan, said yesterday that the organisers hope to reach 700,000 people during its run, which will end on March 8 next year. More than 200,000 tickets have been set aside for the exhibition each month. Ticket registration for next month opened on Nov 1, and bookings for January will start on Tuesday.

The exhibition caps the year-long SG50 Golden Jubilee celebrations, and will be launched by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday.

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, who heads the SG50 Steering Committee, said in a statement yesterday that he hopes the exhibition will inspire Singaporeans to come together, and share and commit their aspirations into action for a better Singapore.

"It is timely to cast our eyes forward," he said. "Our future is really for all of us to continue to imagine, shape and strive for together, based on our shared values."

Covering 6,000 sq m across six zones, the exhibition covers areas like healthcare, transport and the environment, seen through the eyes of ordinary Singaporeans, not those of urban planners or policymakers.

For instance, it foresees a future in which vital signs of an elderly person can be transmitted via sensors to a smartphone. In a medical emergency, care providers in the area would be alerted to help the person.

It also looks at how Singapore's underground and above-ground spaces and road systems will be used, and how vertical farming may be integrated into high-rises.

The organisers promise an "immersive, interactive, multi-sensory" experience.

When asked why the exhibition captures only positive traits such as graciousness and sportsmanship and does not feature the "uglier" side of Singaporeans, Mr Tan said this was not deliberate.

"The exhibition is based on the aspirations submitted by members of the public, and these values are what resonated the most," he said. "But we hope in the discussions that ensue, Singaporeans will talk about the other parts of living in future that may be less desirable, and we can have a debate about them."

The year 2030 was chosen rather than 2065 - which is when Singapore will celebrate 100 years of independence - because the team wanted to present scenarios that are "real, distinct possibilities".

Mr Tan estimates that 99 per cent of the featured ideas are in the research or prototype stage.

"Fifteen years is a good stretch," he told The Straits Times. "Beyond that, it really stretches the imagination. And what happens in the 35 years after that really depends on the kind of choices and actions that we take by 2030."

•Tickets to the free exhibition can be obtained via The Future Of Us website at www.thefutureofus.sg. The exhibition, to run from Dec 1 to March 8 next year, will be open daily from 9am. The last admission is at 8.30pm.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 25, 2015, with the headline 'Keen interest in upcoming The Future Of Us exhibition'. Print Edition | Subscribe