New in June in Smithsonian “FUTURES”, How to Thrive in the Year 2050

In June, at “FUTURES” at the Smithsonian’s Arts and Industries Building (AIB), curiosity about what people’s lives might look like in 2050 comes to the fore, from gender expression to their health to how they earn. life.

In honor of June as Pride Month, “FUTURES Cipher: Pride 2050” (in person and virtual), Friday, June 10 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., is an interactive discussion and performing arts exchange that challenges great thinkers and creatives from the LGBTQ+ community to collaboratively imagine the future of Pride in 2050 and how to build a more equal and inclusive world. In response, artists will interpret the ideas presented through a variety of creative mediums, including live painting, freestyle poetry, vocal performance, or playback theater. The public should plan to stay for a joyous evening celebration in the AIB exhibit halls to kick off the Pride of the Capital City of Washington, DC.

Credit: Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building (AIB)

“Living Longer Festival: Health + Wellness 2050”, Saturday, June 25, from 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm, asks “what would it look like if everyone prospered with longer, better and healthier lives?” The day of learning and wellness brings to life technology like telemedicine, meet and greets with innovators at ‘FUTURES’, hands-on activities for kids and an exciting session led by experts from “We interrupt your regularly scheduled panel: living longer in the future” (in-person and virtual) from 4 to 5 pm to explore health on the horizon. During the interactive special “The Doctor is in (Space)!” Visit a healthcare provider in the year 2050 with a futuristic remote healthcare visit. To cap off the evening, visitors can take to the beautiful Haupt Garden with a glowing late-night yoga session, a day-focused finale to take wellness into the future.

A two-part series of programs, “We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Panel: How Technology Is Changing Work” (In-Person and Virtual), Thursday, June 2, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET Y “We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Panel: The Future of Our 9-5 Hours” (In-Person and Virtual), Thursday, June 16, 6:30-7:30 PM ET, revolutionize the world of work by delving into the emerging technologies and trends that could transform how, where, how long, and even why people work. Americans spend most of their lives working, but research shows monumental changes may be on the way for better, more balanced lives. In these lively, audience-led discussions, experts will explore and debate the gig economy, artificial intelligence, new office design, robotics, wellness, remote work, alternatives to college, and even the metaverse.

catie howof June Futurist in residence is dancing with robots. Cuan, the latest innovator to join AIB’s online residency to think about our shared future by creating new content for digital audiences, is a dancer, choreographer, PhD candidate in mechanical engineering at Stanford University, TED resident in 2018 and currently Artist in Residence for the Everyday Robots Project at Google’s X, the moonshot factory. He explores how dance and robotics can reduce alienation and increase the empowerment of humans when interacting with machines, a hopeful future with robots. Drawing inspiration from FUTURES and his research, Cuan’s residency will culminate with a special robot dance performance on July 6.

Other programs in June include:

  • “FUTURES Tour: Democracy” (in person); Sunday, June 12, 2 p.m. ET: To start Made By Us Civic SeasonAn annual celebration of the period between June 16 and July 4, this unique tour takes a journey through community action, civic discourse, and the history and possible future of democracy. Free and open to walk-ins, no prior registration is required.
  • “Fridays @ FUTURES: Juneteenth Liberation Dialogue” (in person); Friday, June 24, 5:30–7 p.m. ET: On Friday night at “FUTURES,” guests can start the weekend off right with a generous helping of new ideas and surprising brain snacks. You can explore the entire exhibit until 7:00 pm and keep coming back each week for an exciting new look at the future. This Juneteenth special edition focuses on the future of black liberation, with FUTURES social justice curator Monica O. Montgomery and historical strategist free bang hosting an enlightening discussion on creative site and community maintenance. Free and open to walk-ins, no prior registration is required.

For more details, the public can visit

“FUTURES Cypher: Pride 2050”, “WIYRSP: How Tech is Changing Work” and “WIYRSP: The Future of Our 9-to-5” are made possible by Accenture. The “Live Longer Festival” is made possible by MedWand Solutions. Live streaming of shows is supported by Comcast NBCUniversal.


“FUTURES” is the first major exploration of the future in the entire Smithsonian building and temporarily reopens its oldest museum for the first time in nearly two decades. The part-festival exhibit, designed by award-winning architecture firm Rockwell Group, celebrates the Smithsonian’s 175th anniversary with more than 150 stunning objects, ideas, prototypes and installations that fuse art, technology, design and history to help visitors imagine many possible futures on the horizon.

On view through July 6, “FUTURES” is open daily except Tuesday from 10 am to 5:30 pm, with extended hours until 7 pm on Friday and Saturday. Admission is free and timed tickets are not currently required. For more information and to schedule a visit, the public can go to

Leave a Comment