Future Park is heading to Johannesburg after a successful run in Cape Town. This digital extravaganza has wowed more than four million visitors worldwide, and thanks to DRUM and its sister publications, Huisgenoot and YOU, it’s heading to Johannesburg.
Since its exciting launch in 2014, Future Park has entertained people around the world, with exhibitions in America, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable experience.
What is Future Park?
The exhibition stimulates your child’s imagination as they build towns, compose their own music, and create their own virtual reality.
Children get to express their creativity in a unique way, while social skills are encouraged and an interest in technology and respect for diversity are fostered. Children can see their drawings come to life and adults can explore and indulge their imagination.
It’s all about collaboration and interaction. For instance, it’s not just a matter of admiring beautiful artwork – you actually create the art and then engage with it.
Why it’s great for kids
Although originally created as a playground for adults, Future Park has proven to be a big hit among children, says Shiori Shakuto of TeamLab, which developed the exhibition.
“It charms children because they’re more flexible than adults,” says Elzan Frank, an educational psychologist based in Stellenbosch. She believes it offers parents a chance to introduce their children to science, maths and technology in a fun and interactive way.
“Kids like to move – they want to jump and hop around,” Frank adds. “That’s how the world becomes interesting for children. It shows them how exciting science can be.” Frank, who’s practised as a psychologist for 30 years, says primary school kids will enjoy this creative experience. “It will encourage their love of science and technology.”
How it all started
TeamLab is a group of University of Tokyo graduates who describe themselves as “ultra-technologists”. Among them are engineers, artists, architects, web and print graphic designers, editors and computer graphic (CG) animators.
They’re also excited about the fact that technology has changed the way we experience art.
“Through an interactive relationship between the viewers and the artwork, viewers become an intrinsic part of that artwork.”
More about Future Park
Future Park has several activities to explore:
Sketch Town Papercraft: Pictures drawn by children are turned into unique 3D paper art they can take home with them. This process helps kids to understand the concept of spaceand perspective. Converting a 2D sketch into 3D art helps them with problem-solving and logical thinking
Hopscotch for Geniuses: Here children use their imagination and their bodies too! They’re able to play hopscotch while colourful patterns light up as their feet land, with cool sound effects. This activity involves healthy physical exercise, and teaches kids to link colour and shape.
Light Ball Orchestra: Children mingle in a space filled with colourful balls that contain sensors. Together the balls constitute an orchestra. The balls change colour when touched and when rolled they make sounds that change the music played by the orchestra.
Sketch Aquarium: Kids express their creativity and observe the power of their imagination through Sketch Aquarium. Each participant is invited to colour a drawing of a sea creature. Once completed, the paper is scanned and the image is projected onto a giant virtual aquarium. Children will be able to see their creations come to life and swim with all the other sea creatures. They may also touch the fish to see them swim away, or touch the virtual food bag to feed the fish.
Connecting! Block Town: Kids create their own cities with digital cars and trains running on digital tracks. Wooden blocks are used first to create the tracks and roads, then digital versions are projected onto them. Children can even link their cities with others’ creations.
A Table Where Little People Live: In this activity kids watch tiny digital people moving around on a table. By placing obstacles in their way they can change their course and then watch as they jump right over the objects, or climb onto them.
The Story of Time: This activity is suitable for older children with a better understanding of symbols. They touch images on a screen that start creating their own stories.
Graffiti Nature: (Johannesburg show only) Kids get to create their own ecosystem. This activity is similar to the virtual aquarium. They can stand still on the graffiti floor and watch as flowers bloom around them. As soon as they move the flowers vanish. Children can also draw and colour in their own flowers and animals to expand their ecosystem. But they should beware of the other animals – or their animals could get eaten!
How to Book:
Future Park runs in Johannesburg from 24 February to 8 April 2018. It’s open Monday to Sunday, from 10am to 6pm at The Globe, Silverstar Casino.
Details will be released closer to the time. Go to futureparksa.co.za for more info.
* Worried your child won’t get a chance to properly explore Future Park because of crowds? Don’t be. Demarcated time slots mean only a certain number of visitors are allowed in per session to avoid overcrowding.
Single (adults and children): R130 each
Family of four (Two adults and two children): R460
Pensioners and students: R115
Children under 18 months: Free
Assistants are in attendance at the exhibition but children aren’t permitted without adult supervision.
The Future Park shop sells merchandise, including T-shirts, caps, cups, bags and key rings, with your sketches on it.
Go to www.futureparksa.co.za for more!