In November 2021, the Smithsonian reopens its historic Arts + Industries Building (AIB), the second oldest building on the National Mall. Incubator, hall of inventions and “mother of museums”, AIB has been on the cutting edge of the exhibition of American culture and innovation for over 140 years. After two decades of closure, the reopening launches with “FUTURES” – a year-long immersive, interactive exhibition focused on new and participatory visions of the future. As the exhibition name suggests, this is a more inclusive and hands-on notion than the past, updated to encourage conversation and engage visitors in the premise that “the future is up to them.”

2x4 created the visual identity for the exhibition in collaboration with the AIB team and Rockwell Group. Our stencil-like logo communicates the notion that the future is still under construction, a journey of many paths and an open project to which individuals and communities can contribute. The graphic system and campaign builds on this pluralistic vision with colorful, kaleidoscopic images and animations comprised of objects in the exhibition to evoke the creativity and optimism needed to navigate the challenges of our time.

Photo by Foto Briceno
Photo by Farrah Skeiky
Photo by Mariah Miranda