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AIB’s FUTURES exhibit will feature AI-driven design experience

The Smithsonian’s FUTURES exhibition at the Arts and Industries Building (AIB) will feature an AI-driven experience to design sustainable future cities.

smithsonian futures exhibition

The Arts and Industries Building is reopening for the first time in nearly two decades in November 2021 to celebrate the Smithsonian‘s 175th anniversary.

The Co-Lab, a major element of FUTURES, is a collaborative and experimental design experience developed with Autodesk, a leading provider of 3D design software.

“Since opening in 1881, the Arts and Industries Building has been a place to think big and dream bigger,” said Rachel Goslins, director of AIB.

“With FUTURES, we’re literally teaming up with our visitors to imagine and create a future in which we all thrive,” added Goslins.

Co-create cities of the future using AI

“Autodesk is the perfect partner to help visualize this positive impact, bringing their technical expertise and passion for creative collaboration to this ambitious project.”

The Co-Lab visitors will get the chance to co-create their own cities of the future, with generative artificial intelligence (AI) serving as their planning and design partner.

The exhibit at AIB will feature an installation, also called The Co-Lab. The 22-foot “seemingly impossible cantilevered structure” will be a key feature at the Futures that Unite hall.

The structure was generated with AI by The Living, an Autodesk Research Studio. It will house a digital interactive called Future Communities where guests can design their ideal future city block using AI.

Digital experiences at Smithsonian’s AIB

“FUTURES lets us explore new tools like generative design that have the power to supercharge human imagination and tackle increasingly complicated 21st-century problems,” said Brad MacDonald, director of creative media at AIB.

“What we’ve created with Autodesk will feel as engaging as a game, housed inside a stunning design spectacle,” added MacDonald.

“The ‘aha’ moment for visitors is that in the near future, we could actually be designing our cities and homes this way. It’s a participatory, collaborative process for design of almost anything.”

Images: The Smithsonian

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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