May 21, 2018

Designing the future | Point 6 visit the V&A – part 1

Some of the P6 team recently visited the Victoria & Albert Museum in London to experience The Future Starts Here, an exhibition that explores the possibilities of human innovation through over 100 different future-focused objects, which fit loosely into four categories: personal, public, planet and afterlife.

It showed us that many ideas that are now shaping our future have been long-term human ambitions, often only hindered from realisation by the fact that technology wasn’t quite ready yet. But when science and design finally catch up with these pre-existing ideas, the results can be mind-boggling.


How can design improve people’s lives? If you’re one of the four billion people in the world with an incomplete or unclear postal address, you probably have difficulties receiving home deliveries. You’ll be delighted to know that the what3words app is tackling this issue. It works by dividing up the planet’s surface into grids measuring 3×3 metres and assigns a three-word marker to each one – replacing the traditional postcode system to pinpoint off-map locations. We’ve had fun so far here at jets.darker.sushi (P6’s headquarters at 253 Kilburn Lane, Queen’s Park, West London) whilst exploring alternative London addresses via the app.

We are all connected, but do we feel lonely?

As Londoners, projects that highlight the challenges of living in contemporary cities always interest us. Isn’t it ironic that in our increasingly connected world, many people tend to feel isolated, especially when they live alone?

We were blown away by this co-living concept created by The Collective Old Oak. The beautifully detailed model of their 11-storey building concept impressively demonstrates the Old Oak’s aim to offer a more fulfilling lifestyle to single people through communal living. Up to 500 individuals can coexist and connect with those around them, by renting a living space and engaging with each other through group events and activities within one giant living space – enjoying a real, non-virtual vision of a connected future.

It’s more than a concept too – it’s currently in development in two East London locations, and accepting applications for residency at their Stratford building. Like they say at The Collective: “Be part of something bigger.”

Space espresso anyone?

We like a good coffee – so one very interesting exhibit that explores the possibility of travelling to other planets without sacrificing a very earthly habit is this Lavazza coffee machine designed to deliver an intergalactic boost. It was used at the International Space Station in 2015 by astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti to make herself a zero-gravity espresso.

How do technological advancements impact the future of our planet?

Closer to home, there was also room for reflection on how human behaviour has unintentionally shaped the Earth. We were fascinated by the interactive sand table that allowed you to reconfigure a 3D landscape, adding islands, lakes, etc.

Who wants to live forever?

And lastly a glimpse into a Black Mirror-inspired future, (“Be Right Back”: Series 2, Episode 1, first aired on Channel 4 on 11 February 2013), where the main character Martha interacts with a virtual version of her deceased boyfriend.

Through the Eternime app (currently in beta), all you will have to do is tell the app your thoughts, stories and memories, which the app will then curate to create an intelligent avatar that ‘preserves’ your personality and ‘communicates’ online after your death.

What was until recently just science fiction speculation is becoming a reality. Thanks to extraordinary AI advancements, digital avatars will soon be ‘living’ amongst us via this app. One of the most hotly-debated topics for centuries – immortality – could be as near as your phone is to you right now.

“An invaluable treasure for humanity” or a dystopian nightmare? If you’ve always dreamed of living forever, join the 40,000+ people like you and sign up to the waiting list.

The Future Starts Here exhibition runs until Sunday 4th November 2018. Book your tickets today on the V&A website.

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