Could this be a look into the future? In honor of their 350th anniversary and celebration of 15 generations of innovators, Saint-Gobain, one of the world’s largest building materials companies, featured their Future Sensations global exhibit in Philadelphia. This week long exhibit offered a glimpse into future innovations that would transform the world. Made up of 5 pavilions, Future Sensations is a remarkable exhibit that features science, storytelling and art. Out of the four stops on this exhibition’s tour, Philadelphia was the only U.S. city that was chosen to showcase Future Sensations.
Pavilion 1: A Look Into Progress
Consisting of numerous mirrors inlaid with LEDs, the cube-shaped LOOK pavilion is a tribute to Saint-Gobains tradition of glassmaking. When an individual walks inside the cube, they are blasted with a series of images that flash through the mirrors and are accompanied with LEDs.The music inside the cube conveniently matched the LEDs movement. When I was inside, I felt as though I was being transported through a laser geometric style galaxy. Whenever I looked at the people around me, I couldn’t help but notice their wanderstruck expressions. This was, hands down, my favorite pavilion.
Pavilion 2: A New Sensation
A tribute to the Company’s acoustic performance materials, the cube-shaped LISTEN pavilion is sound insulated and uses sound unique “spatialization” technology to take its visitors on an aural excursion. After spending my time and standing in line for 45 minutes, I found this exhibit not meeting my expectations. Upon entrance, the visitor is greeted with acoustic nature sounds. Just when I started thinking that there is nothing more uninteresting to listen too, I was proved wrong by a series of transportation sounds. The visitors surrounding me first looked confused, then disappointed. Fortunately, as though it was an apparent redemption, a section of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony started playing. As abruptly as it had started, it ended. I left very dissatisfied with the whole ordeal. Should there have been more choral or orchestral pieces added into this installation, then it would have been a much fortifying experience.
Pavilion 3: The Stuff of Dreams
Shaped as a freestanding carousel, the COLOR pavilion is an installation that revolves and transports its visitors into a dreamlike kaleidoscopic world. I enjoyed this exhibit because of the colors involved (I have a sort of ROYGBIV obsession). Whenever the installation would rotate, the different color panels would come together and create an interesting palette effect.
Pavilion 4: The Art of the Matter
Of the five pavilions, the CREATE pavilion was the most architectural. Its spiral staircase shape made it visually appealing to visitors and photographers. Therefore, it was not surprising that it was the most popular throughout social media. This was my second favorite exhibit because of its unique external and internal appeal. When inside, I was welcomed by a laser show accompanied by different genres of music. Starting with acoustic nature sounds, the sound evolved into an operatic aria and then into a classical orchestral piece. Afterwards, it transformed into an 80’s style groove tune until finally transforming into a trance song. I loved the whole presentation, both visual and aural. It was like listening to the evolution of music with a rad laser show to boot!
Pavilion 5: History and Future
The final pavilion, DISCOVER, was a strictly informative exhibit. Exclusively designed for the Philadelphia exhibition, this pavilion offered information on Saint-Gobain and its contribution to the world. Visitors were able to see the different innovations that have impacted everyday Americans. The 70-foot dome shaped pavilion also gave its visitors a 360 degree visual experience. The shape of the pavilion strongly reminded me of an inflated igloo. When inside the dome, visitors saw a short video on Saint-Gobain and its historical and future endeavors.
Overall, I really enjoyed Saint-Gobain’s Future Sensations exhibit. I am very excited that Philadelphia is gaining enough recognition globally to be considered for exhibits such as this. Totally looking forward to future great events in this city!