This year marks Singapore’s Jubilee anniversary, one which many have celebrated throughout the course of the past few months. With the Smart Nation initiative well under way, the nation is preparing itself and future generations for what is to come.
Resting in the heart of Gardens by the Bay, ‘The Future of Us’ exhibition opened its doors to the general public yesterday, 1 December. As there is a school break for many students in Singapore, the exhibition is expected to have many family visitors within the first month.
Singapore leaders recognise the impact of the exhibition
On 29 November, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong launched the exhibition which looks forward to the future of Singapore.
“Our future depends on what we make of it, together. It is up to each one of us to voice our hopes and future dreams, to make the choices to realise these dreams, to help one another and work as one team, Singapore, to shape our own destiny,” he stated, “50 years from now, our children can come back and tell their grandchildren that it was here they caught a glimpse of what they could create for the future.”
‘The Future of Us’ exhibition guides visitors through six immersive, interactive, and multi-sensory zones, exploring the thrilling possibilities and shared dreams for Singapore’s future.
“It is timely to cast our eyes forward. ‘The Future of Us’ exhibition presents us with glimpses of how we can live, work, learn and care in the future. But our future is really for all of us to continue to imagine, shape, and strive for, together, based on our shared values,” said Minister Heng Swee Keat, Chairman of the Singapore50 (SG50) Steering Committee.
Stories from the Future
The ‘Future of Us’ organizing committee engaged and consulted over 100 public, private, and people sector organisations across different industries and disciplines to help curate the possible scenarios showcased at the exhibition. The scenarios told the story of 4 people (Joseph, Ravina, Yi Xin, and Faizal) who are driven to change their society through the use of technology innovation.
For example, one of the exhibition’s characters is a social worker named Joseph. Joseph uses a mobile app to enable a network of skilled to ensure help to the ageing is available when needed.
One of the most interesting features of the exhibit focuses on the “Multiple Pathways to Success”. This emphasised to the viewer that there is no one way to live your life. Four scenarios are played out where each character experiences various life milestones, such as earning a degree and having a child, at different times of their lives.
Someone from the team who created the exhibition walked up to me to explain that the motive behind this was to influence how people thought about their own life path. They do not want the youth to feel so pressured by what others have done in the past.
Swinging towards the Future
At the end of the exhibition is a row of playground swings and structures connected to The Lion, representing Singapore’s mascot. Visitors are summoned to work together, unleash their youthful side, and ride the swings which help power the Lion’s roar. The Lion is symbolic of Singaporeans; working together to achieve their dreams.
After taking a swing, visitors are invited to walk through the marketplace featuring the latest innovative ideas for future products. The marketplace holds a bevy of drones, IoT devices, and interactive activities for the public to engage with.
Walking through the exhibition zones, several parents were heard, telling their children, ‘This is what Singapore’s future will look like’ or ‘Technology will change all of our lives’. The exhibition holds sessions and conversations, such as science programmes, targeted towards families who want to have their children engage more with technology.
As the exhibition tends to focus on what is to come in the future, it also harps on nostalgia. The exhibition showcased quotes from Singapore’s founding father Mr. Lee Kuan Yew throughout the zones. The patrons are introduced to Mr. Lee Kuan Yew’s vision of what the nation of Singapore would become.
A quote from Mr. Lee Kuan Yew at the end of the exhibition stated, “We intend to see that Singapore will be here a thousand years from now. And that is your duty and mine.”
The ‘Future of Us’ exhibition will be open to the public from 1st December 2015 until 8th March 2016, 9:00am to 9:00pm daily (last admission being at 8:30pm), including weekends and public holidays. Visit thefutureofus.sg to find out more.