Prototyping the future city

Prime Minister's Office, UAE

Set in a life-sized “Smart Street,” this exhibition presented the UAE's vision for empathic, proactive government services set in a highly urbanized future. Polished scenography, custom architecture, scents and flavours immersed visitors in a cityscape permeated by intelligent, autonomous, pervasive technologies.

This was the second in a series of exhibitions Tellart has created for the annual World Government Summit in Dubai. These projects are designed to spark meaningful debate among global leaders attending the summit. They have directly inspired numerous government initiatives in the UAE, including the creation of a permanent Museum of the Future.


At the entrance to exhibition, an augmented reality plinth reveals the invisible data layers that permeate the city street.



Smart Mobility

The first exhibit was a public-facing government service lab in which ministries prototype new services with the input of citizens. Currently on display in this “pop-up ministry” are three autonomous vehicles that reframe mobility as an opportunity for delivering useful services—turning dead time into time well spent.


The service car brings government services to your door.


The gym car enables you to exercise during your commute.


The office car maximizes comfort and productivity.


Personal microclimates

Leaving the pop-up ministry visitors were introduced to the future of air conditioning. The “Personal Cloud” system uses sensors to provide cool air exactly where it is needed, transforming the hot Dubai street into a comfortably habitable space.


Gaming obesity

Inspired by the challenge of tackling childhood obesity we created Fitzania, an immersive game that encourages kids to exercise at the mall—while receiving a routine physical checkup. We used gaze-tracking and a weighted sphere with advanced sensors to drive the gaming experience. Visitors played a physically challenging game in an immersive 3D environment with multiple projection surfaces. After completing the game they received constructive feedback on their health.


 Luxury healthcare

Building on the theme of preventive healthcare, the PharmaCafé invited visitors into a luxurious pharmaceutical spa. In this relaxing garden environment, actors posing as pharmacists offered visitors personalised treatments in the form of misted drinks and scents.


A simple hand scan identifies the necessary treatments.


Learning lab

Imagining a future where lifelong education is commonplace, the Learning Lab proposed an immersive classroom where citizens of all ages can enjoy self-directed learning. An artificially intelligent instructor assembles lesson plans from rich content and guides discovery using interactive dialogue. In this particular lesson, students are invited to explore the early Mars settlement projected in a massive, panoramic dome.


Smart infrastructure

Exiting the Smart Street, visitors glimpse how the future city is built and repaired by teams of autonomous machines working alongside human technicians in robot exoskeletons.


“The depth and expansiveness of this exhibit blew me away. It relentlessly provokes, its story unfolding throughout the space, bouncing effortlessly between physical, digital, and environmental components to achieve a beautifully integrated, immersive, and cohesive experience.”

Sara Frisk, Juror, AIGA

“I was blown away by the amazing things they were able to show and demonstrate regarding the future of the United Arab Emirates […] The various disciplines and teams of people needed to develop each section are palpable in that there are so many layers of thinking, of technology, of development, of social analysis, and of dreaming.”

Bryony Gomez-Palacio, Juror, AIGA

“Representing a significant, design-led approach to policy and innovation, the museum uses design, prototypes and foresight to create real examples of change by engaging citizens and governments in a new way to tackle tomorrow's critical issues.”

Project Data


• Led to the planning and design of the Museum for the Future in Dubai—a permanent museum and incubator for innovation in government services.
• Launchpad for multiple UAE and Dubai government policies and initiatives, including the appointment of a Minister of State for Happiness.
• Redeployed at the Tokyo Motor Show 2017 and CES 2018.
• Multi-sensorial experience design including scent and taste.
• Featured an interactive distributed healthcare experience addressing obesity and diabetes.



Project team:

Tellart directed the project from start to finish, with support from an international team of partners:
Technical and creative partners: Scatter, SOFTlab, Bompas & Parr, Octo, Carlo Ratti Associati, Idee und Klang, and Future Cities Catapult.
Onsite build and installation partners: PublicisLive, Neumann & Müller and Projex UAE.

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