"This project helps inspire a critical exploration of what's possible by illuminating how increased renewable energy usage can create a sustainable energy future, and how collectively changing our behaviors can make a meaningful net-zero impact by 2050."

- Ashley Molese, Smithsonian AIB curator

A new virtual reality (VR) experience designed to explore a clean energy future was unveiled at the Smithsonian’s groundbreaking new experience “FUTURES” on November 20th at the historic Arts and Industries Building (AIB). Created by Oracle in collaboration with Zpryme’s Froliq and EDX Technologies, ‘Future of Energy,’ aims to help visitors better understand how they use energy, ways to conserve it, and their role in building a clean energy future. Time traveling from 1850 to 2050, the goal year for many climate change initiatives, the exhibit invites visitors of all ages to play games and take simple actions to explore how the energy landscape is changing and the steps they can take every day to use less energy and reduce their carbon emissions.

“While energy is one of society’s most critical resources, its future has never been more in question as we look for ways to promote a cleaner tomorrow,” said Smithsonian AIB curator Ashley Molese. “This project helps inspire a critical exploration of what’s possible by illuminating how increased renewable energy usage can create a sustainable energy future, and how collectively changing our behaviors can make a meaningful net-zero impact by 2050.”

Celebrating 175 years of the Smithsonian coupled with engaging guests on the historical and future impact of energy with virtual reality—what can I say—we are honored and humbled to be a part of this,” shared Zpryme CEO Jason Rodriguez. “VR education, it’s motivating, engaging, and of course fun—it provides authentic learning experiences for everyone.”

On view through July 6, 2022, “FUTURES” is the Smithsonian’s first major building-wide exploration of the future and will temporarily reopen the Smithsonian’s oldest museum for the first time in nearly two decades. The part-exhibition, part-festival will celebrate the Smithsonian’s 175th anniversary with more than 150 awe-inspiring objects, ideas, prototypes, and installations that fuse art, technology, design, and history to help visitors imagine many possible futures on the horizon. Many of the exhibits will have a focus on how we can collectively create and imagine a more equitable, peaceful, and sustainable world.


Designed by architect David Rockwell and his award-winning firm Rockwell Group, “FUTURES” will fill the historic Arts and Industries Building with 32,000 square feet of new artworks, interactives, prototypes, inventions, and “artifacts of the future,” as well as historic objects and discoveries from 23 of the Smithsonian’s museums and research centers. It will showcase stories of future-makers who are working tirelessly towards a more equitable, peaceful and sustainable world—inventors and creators, activists and organizers—with a special focus on communities who may not have always had a voice in future-making. Visitors will be able to glimpse how past visions have shaped where we are today, as a way to imagine their own version of humanity’s next chapter. A digital “FUTURES” Guide by award-winning firm Goodby Silverstein & Partners will launch in early 2022.

“FUTURES” is made possible by a select group of sponsors and supporters: Amazon Web Services, Autodesk, Bell Textron Inc., Jacqueline B. MarsJohn and Adrienne Mars, the Embassy of the State of QatarDavid M. Rubenstein, and SoftBank Group. Major support is also provided by the Annenberg Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Kevin S. Bright and Claudia W. Bright, and Robert Kogod. Additional funding is provided by Accenture, John Brock III, Events DC, First Solar, Ford Motor Company, Wendy Dayton, Charlie and Nancy Hogan, the Suzanne Nora Johnson and David Johnson Foundation, Lyda Hill Philanthropies, MedWand Solutions, National Football League, the National Football Players Association, and Oracle.