Prototyping the future city


The Prime Minister’s Office of the UAE organized a life-sized “Smart Street” exhibition as part of the World Government Summit in Dubai. This was the second in a series of exhibitions by Tellart. The first Museum of Future Government Services was designed by Tellart in collaboration with Fabrica, where I was a studio director. As art director for Tellart, I was responsible for the visual design of the exhibiton as a whole, including user interfaces and graphic design throughout. The exhibit showcased the UAE’s vision of a future city, complete with empathic, proactive government services, intelligent technologies, and a highly urbanized environment. Visitors experienced a polished scenography, custom architecture, and sensory elements like scents and flavours, immersing them in a futuristic cityscape.

The primary objective of the exhibition was to ignite meaningful debate among global leaders about the future of urban living and government services. It aimed to present a vision of the future that integrated advanced technologies with citizen-centric services, thereby inspiring real-world government initiatives.

What we did
The exhibition included various thematic areas, such as:

  • Smart Mobility: A government service lab showcasing autonomous vehicles designed to provide services, enhancing time utilization during commutes.
  • Personal Microclimates: Introducing the “Personal Cloud” system, offering targeted air conditioning to make hot outdoor spaces comfortable.
  • Gaming Obesity: ‘Fitzania,’ an immersive gaming experience, aimed at encouraging exercise and providing health feedback to combat childhood obesity.
  • Luxury Healthcare: The PharmaCafé, offering personalized health treatments in a spa-like environment.
  • Learning Lab: An AI-powered immersive classroom for lifelong learning.
  • Smart Infrastructure: Displaying how autonomous machines and human technicians can collaboratively build and maintain a city.
  • Smart Street: Visitors interacted with an augmented reality plinth at the entrance, revealing the city’s invisible data layers.


The exhibit led to significant developments:

  • The planning and creation of the Museum of the Future in Dubai, a permanent hub for innovation in government services.
  • Inspired multiple policies and initiatives by the UAE and Dubai government, including the appointment of a Minister of State for Happiness.
  • Redeployed at international events like the Tokyo Motor Show 2017 and CES 2018.
  • Praised for its design and foresight in policy and innovation, the exhibition was acclaimed for engaging citizens and governments innovatively to address future challenges.

Team: Tellart, 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.