Pangilinan: A glimpse of the future

(Contributed Photo)
(Contributed Photo)

THESE words of wisdom of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, are among those inscribed in the new yet visibly iconic Museum of the Future in the UAE, “The future belongs to those who can imagine it, design it, and execute it. It isn’t something you await, but rather create.” Indeed, Dubai’s latest museum and attraction, which has been called the “most beautiful building in the world”, provides us with a spectacular glimpse of what future possibilities await humankind.

As early as 2015, the UAE Government already announced the plan to build such a building and the torus-shaped structure, which BBC Future referred to as the “building designed by algorithm”, is simply mind-blowing. The structure is both a feat of the imagination as well as construction. It opened on 22 February 2022, which is, in case you noticed, is a palindromic date as well.

To get a chance to visit the futuristic museum, I had to book tickets about two weeks in advance and it was unthinkable to simply walk in at any given time. It has perhaps the priciest museum entrance fees in the UAE which I personally encountered, at 145 dirhams or roughly 2000 pesos. We were fortunate enough to get a slot for early afternoon and allotted about two to three hours to explore the museum including a visit to the children’s area for my daughter Sunis.

While claiming our wristbands which have digital tags at the museum lobby, we were entertained by the flying animal-themed robots so we did not mind that there was a bit of a queue up to the pre-departure area where we waited for the launch of our spacecraft that will take us to February 2071.

Imagine reaching that many years into the future where I could well be in my eighties or nineties! Fast-forward to 2071 and our spacecraft brought us to Orbital Space Station Hope where we got to see some future inventions and innovations by HOPE pioneers such as oasis beans, asteroid water, deep space explorer helmets and the like. Sunis got the chance to sign up as a Junior Bio Designer.

Getting off OSS Hope brought us into the HEAL institute chapter which includes an observatory which grows new species and helps heal the natural world. One of the highlights in this part of the museum is the interactive DNA library that showcases a multitude of colors and information about the earth’s flora and fauna.

My favorite part of the museum was the Al Waha chapter which focuses on alternative and multisensorial healing exhibits, including Connection Therapy, Grounding therapy, Aromatherapy, Sound bath, and a deeply relaxing meditation center. This exhibition is quite strategically located and shows how mindful the museum designers are, considering that it provides a welcome break for the senses from the information overflow of the previous chapters.

Aside from the well-appointed and kidsafe play area that features a gift shop for children, Sunis’s favorite portion was the Tomorrow, Today exhibition that highlights contemporary innovations with potentially life changing impacts for us, from 3D printed living tissue that can help revolutionize medicine to notpla material which looks a lot like plastic sans the environmental problems and is completely biodegradable. The human all-electric jetpack or clean energy cars might just be the world’s solutions to our rising and carbon-emitting fuel problems.

The best gift that the Museum of the Future gives to our generation is that the future is way better than we could ever imagine if we all work together as one humankind, and the fleeting experience of a couple of hours into the future gives it a tangible and reachable feel.


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