What is the future of us?

Singapore is poised to step into the future. But more than unlimited possibilities to make projects such as vertical sky farms and floating cities a reality, our future is about what we will make of our tomorrow in this society. The “Future of Us” exhibition lets visitors peek into this tomorrow.

Connecting The Past to the Future

The Singapore Story that began 50 years ago was written by dreams of our pioneering generation. Today, we are the co-authors of our nation’s future. The hopes and aspirations of Singaporeans for the future is the heart of this exhibition and they are brought to life in a myriad of ways. 

Flowing through the entire exhibition is a physical and digital installation of quotes collected from the public via avenues such as National Day Parade 2015, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew’s memorial, Chingay 2015, Singapore Day 2015, among others. Key words are used to form familiar icons such as the lion, Singapore National Theatre, a Samsui woman and traditional shop houses.

Continuing into Theatre of Generations, visitors will be introduced to the dreams of four future characters who drew inspiration from their forefathers to overcome the challenges they face in a spectacular 360-degree dome projection.

Yi Xin – a designer who wants to create a more inclusive playground where everyone can enjoy. She draws inspiration from her grandfather who wanted to make education available to every member of society. 

Faizal –  an entrepreneur who is inspired to invent a system of shared personal vehicles suited for the last-mile. His grandfather, too, had wished that everyone, rich or poor, could ride together. 

Joseph – a social worker who contemplates enlisting members of the community to ensure more help is available when needed. His situation mirrors his grandmother, who relied on the community to distribute aid to victims during times of crisis. 

Ravina – a horticulturist who has difficulty growing tomatoes in an urban farming landscape. Ravina’s grandmother similarly struggled with insufficient land to grow more produce. Eventually she worked together with her neighbours to share their fields for a bigger harvest. 

Follow their stories as they come to life in Symphony of the City and Home Tomorrow. 

Contemplating the Possibilities

Moving into Symphony of the City, visitors will be immersed in a future cityscape that explores how transportation options, living spaces and leisure concepts could evolve and integrate into the pulse of the city.

The 270-degree show is screened on one of the largest LED screens ever built in Singapore. It is coupled with projections on models of Singapore’s future residences that complement the main show. Peppered with potential innovations such as a shared network of self-driving cars, this space shows how such technology can integrate seamlessly into our daily lives and allow us to have fuller and more sociable lives. 

Visitors will see Yi Xin’s and Faizal’s dreams set in a potentially more inclusive city. Technologies such as autonomous vehicles and holographic projections will enable the less mobile to travel about freely and participate in various social activities. Faizal’s web of shared transportation is also placed in a larger context of green charging lanes, vacuum-tube trains and water taxis. 

Pulling in from the cityscape, the dreams of the characters get upscaled and popularized in Home Tomorrow, an installation of prospective neighbourhoods and future homes. In particular, visitors will see how Ravina’s revolving vertical sky farms could become integral to the supply chain for the community, where the neighbourhood grows, harvests, packs and supplies a variety of produce to the wider community using flying drones. Through four periscopes, visitors can watch how urban farming is both a sustainable option and fun family activity. 

Joseph’s dream of a connected network of volunteers also materializes in Home Tomorrow. In the video display, future volunteers will be alerted of emergencies via mobiles apps and use wearable technology and portable diagnostic tools to provide assistance more quickly. Caring for our family and the wider community remains a core priority in the future. 

In these stories, no dream is too small to fulfil, or challenge too big to overcome.

Asides from video installations and dioramas, visitors get to peek into the windows of future home and see illustrations of how creative innovations and new lifestyle concepts could reinterpret their everyday lives. Technological touches featured in the exhibition includes smart mirrors that allow you to update social media while you brush your teeth; customize clothes via 3D printing; holographic technology that allows one to learn family recipes from grandma; robot cleaners and much more. 

Committing to the future

These possibilities for tomorrow do not exist in a vacuum but are contingent on the efforts that Singaporeans invest in today. Singapore is, and needs to continue to be, a diverse, multi-ethnic society that believes in a better Singapore to prevail as a successful nation. Moving into the next segment of the exhibition, visitors can think about their own hopes and dreams for Singapore’s future in the face of change and continual development. 

Blue Skies is a digital wishing well where visitors can write their aspirations, which will be beamed up into the sky and pulled together as a constellation of wishes in the digital galaxy for others to read. 

Here are some of the wishes for Singapore’s tomorrow: 

  • ‘‘My hope is to have Singaporeans continue to speak up for what is important to them.’ ’ - Noorul
  • ‘‘My hope is for every Singaporean to have big dreams, & to have the strength and belief to make them come true..’’ - Prakash
  • ‘‘I hope that each one of us, in our little ways, can each do something in our lifetime that benefits at least one other fellow Singaporean.’ ’ - Wee Ling 
  • ‘We have a responsibility on our shoulders to ensure that we continue to pursue a progressive, multi-racial, prosperous and humane Singapore.’ - Rajan Lilaram Bharvani

Together, the dreams of Singaporeans will piece together the next chapter of the Singapore Story. 

As a physical act of commitment to the dreams they have shared, visitors are invited to participate in The Lion, an inclusive outdoor play space. People of all ages and mobility can join hands and power up the installation to uncover a surprise at the end. Another clue is that The Lion was hinted in Yi  Xin’s design of an all-inclusive play space.  

Get to the future

“The Future of Us” will be open to the public from Dec 1, 2015 to March 8, 2016 beside Gardens by the Bay. Book your free tickets at www.thefutureofus.sg up to one month in advance.

For more information on “The Future of Us,” do visit the website or follow its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thefutureofus.sg