UCL Department of Geography


The Future Starts Here?

23 May 2018

Mat Disney’s work features in landmark V&A exhibition

The Future Starts Here?

Dr Mat Disney was at the preview of The Future Starts Here, a major new exhibition in the Sainsbury Gallery at the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum, which opened on 12 May showcasing a range of new objects and technology that can potentially shape our future.

The exhibition is a radical departure for the V & A, looking forward rather than back, and the first big show produced by the gallery’s design, architecture and digital department.

It was opened by the museum’s Director, Tristram Hunt, who described it as a “defining moment” for the V&A, with the gallery being both “mediator and collaborator” in revolutionary conversations:

“It explores ground-breaking emerging technologies and the way they will affect our lives in the near future and, crucially, the collective choices we have to influence their progress.”

Mat was approached by the curator of the exhibition, Rory Hyde, to show his 3D lidar work from tropical forests as an example of how new technology is allowing us to understand and hopefully manage our world better.

Mat's exhibit, which features in the glossy accompanying book, is also included as a video installation among other fascinating exhibits, including a chargeable shirt which can power a phone; a drone ship which can clean up oil spills; an autonomous flying wing intended to cruise the skies using solar power and broadcast internet access to remote areas; and AI bots intended to help mediate and hopefully improve political discourse and democratic process.

Mat's response:

"It's quite an experience to be part of this exhibition - a really different way to show our work, and amazing to see it amongst all these other incredible ideas and technology".

The exhibition runs at the V&A until November 4th, and then goes on tour.