Installation view of Another Generosity
Installation view of Another Generosity

Designs for Different Futures

Through March 8, 2020

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, discover imaginative ideas that respond to human civilization’s future needs, desires, and fears.

Futures Therapy Lab

A space for conversation, critique, and creativity for those considering the ideas set forth in the exhibition. In addition to daily drop-in activities, the Lab will host weekly events. Open to visitors of all ages and free with museum admission.

Drop-in Daily Activities

Tuesday–Sunday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Wednesday & Friday, 10:00 a.m.–8:45 p.m.
Thinking about possible futures is both exhilarating and anxiety-making. Work it out through art making, reading, and reflection.

Artists in the Lab

Wednesdays, 6:00–8:00 p.m.
Artists and designers share their work through talks, demonstrations, and workshops.

The Designer Is In

Selected Thursdays & Saturdays, 2:00–4:00 p.m.
One-on-one sessions with designers offer new perspectives on your everyday life.

Sci-Fi Sundays

Sundays (except first Sunday of the month), 2:00–3:00 p.m.
Drop-in readings that explore narratives of the future.

Exhibition Organizers

Designs for Different Futures is organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Main Building

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Free with museum admission link_arrow

Pay What You Wish admission on the first Sunday of the month and every Wednesday night

Preview the Exhibition

Get a sneak peek at works in the exhibition.

Watch: Exhibition Trailer
What do you want the future to look like?
Video produced by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2019

In Philadelphia, this exhibition is generously supported by the Annenberg Foundation Fund for Major Exhibitions, the Robert Montgomery Scott Endowment for Exhibitions, the Kathleen C. and John J. F. Sherrerd Fund for Exhibitions, Lisa Roberts and David Seltzer in honor of Collab’s 50th Anniversary, the Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Laura and William C. Buck Endowment for Exhibitions, the Harriet and Ronald Lassin Fund for Special Exhibitions, the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Exhibition Fund, and an anonymous donor.

Kathryn B. Hiesinger, The J. Mahlon Buck, Jr. Family Senior Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700, Philadelphia Museum of Art; Michelle Millar Fisher, The Louis C. Madeira Assistant Curator of European Decorative Arts, Philadelphia Museum of Art; Emmet Byrne, design director and associate curator of design, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Maite Borjabad López-Pastor, Neville Bryan Assistant Curator of Architecture and Design, the Art Institute of Chicago; and Zoë Ryan, John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design, the Art Institute of Chicago; with guest curators Andrew Blauvelt, director, Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and curator-at-large, Museum of Arts and Design, New York; Colin Fanning, independent scholar, Bard Graduate Center, New York; and Orkan Telhan, associate professor of fine arts, emerging design practices, University of Pennsylvania School of Design, Philadelphia
Explore More

Discover additional stories and items related to this exhibition.

The Designs for Different Futures handbook is essential reading for anyone interested in how design might shape the world to come.
Student Challenge
Student Challenge
Learn about our Student Design Challenge, open to grades 4–12.
Related Installation
Related Installation
Learn about the history of design at the museum in our newest Library installation.

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