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Face the future with 100 projects shaping the world of tomorrow at the V&A

See the designs revolutionising our planet with the V&A's latest exhibition The Future Starts Here.

By Time Out in association with the V&A
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From advanced prosthetic limbs helping people to walk again to the simple pleasure of being able to order a pizza using smart technology, our daily life looks nothing like that of our grandparents – let alone great-great-grandparents. But the innovative technology currently making our lives longer, happier and better connected is the tip the iceberg. As the V&A’s blockbuster exhibition The Future Starts Here makes clear, we're living in an age of forward-thinking, revolutionising inventions like never before. Whether it's a driverless car – coming very soon to a street near you – or a shirt doubling as a phone charger, the 100 projects shaping the world on display show just how dedicated we are right now to making the future shine bright. 

We’ve picked our five favourite designs to get you better acquainted with tomorrow’s world: 

© Scoutbots LTD, Cesar Jung-Harada

Protei

As any fans of Blue Planet will know, our oceans are the Earth’s treasure chests filled with the jewels of marine wildlife and stunning plantlife. Designed by Cesar Jung-Harada, Protei is an autonomous ship that cleans up devastating oil spills. And it does it without harming workers’ health or creating any more pollution, as the current methods do. Basically, it’s win-win.

Radical Love, DNA portrait of Chelsea Manning, by Heather Dewey-Hagborg. Courtesy of Heather Dewey-Hagborg and Fridman Gallery, New York City

DNA portrait of Chelsea Manning

You’ve snapped approximately 56 selfies this weekend alone, and changed your Twitter bio twice already today. You think you know yourself pretty well, right? Well soon you’ll be able to know thyself even better. The Future Starts Here features a portrait of Chelsea Manning created using her DNA. Now that’s what they mean by facing the future.

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Superflex, Aura-powered bodysuits, Yves Behar Courtesy of Superflex

Superflex, Aura-powered body suits

No matter how many squats you sweat through, there’s a limit to what the human body can do. Or is there? Superflex’s ‘super suits’ essentially give humans another set of muscles to ‘wear’ with all the ease of a jacket. But it’s not just about looks or impersonating a Marvel superhero. This type of biomechanical and robotic innovation has the potential to help transform the lives of the elderly - which really is super.

© Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, 2015

Aerocene Explorer

To make a better future, you need to confront the problems of the past. This is what the Aerocene Explorer, a solar-powered device does. It flies high and collects atmospheric data to help the clever people behind it understand how damage done to the planet can be un-done. Because if we can sort out Earth, we might not need to move to Mars after all.

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Photography Ossip van Duivenbode, 2011–2015 © ZUS

Luchtsingel

Changing the world isn’t the job of one person in a white coat, it’s something we can all do. And, we’re already doing it. The Luchtsingel in Rotterdam is a new bridge for pedestrians made possible via crowdfunding. With a plan and some likeminded friends, the citizens changed the shape of their own city. Inspired? Get out there and do the same.

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