Justin McArthur previews the futuristic thought experiment happening at the UniSA’s Museum of Discovery

feature (adelaide) | Read in About 2 minutes
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Published 01 Mar 2020

The SEVEN SIBLINGS FROM THE FUTURE exhibit is looking to the year 2050. Siblings Ava, Julia, Kai, Luca, Alex, Mia, and Rowan are debating what should happen to their great-grandmother’s Eucalara property.

You'll meet each sibling in turn, learning about their lives: the genetically engineered 'Austronaut'; the anarchist doomsday prepper; the romantic climate activist; the visionary entrepreneur; the burdened nurse; the displaced urbanite; and the freelance biohacker.

Travelling through each exhibit with the Seven Siblings app (or a pen-and-paper 'Visitor Passport') you’ll help the siblings to make good choices, solve problems, plan for the future, and even find love.

At the end, you’ll be matched with your 'Soul Sibling' – the sibling whose core values best match the decisions you’ve made along the way.

App integration has always been a strong suit of MOD’s exhibits, but SEVEN SIBLINGS FROM THE FUTURE takes it to a new level, integrating nine displays into a single simple concept piece that hides its own technical brilliance.

It has the air of an online personality quiz over that of a stuffy lecture hall; a low stakes pub chat instead of a workplace integrity exercise.

The questions to be had over each character continue the exhibit long after you've passed through the exit doors: Is Julia’s paranoia about valuing 'safety' or 'preparedness'? Does Rowan value 'freedom' or just technical solutions over political and regulatory ones?

Though there is moral depth to be found in the exhibit’s discussion of 2050 (it is, after all, only 30 years away), SEVEN SIBLINGS FROM THE FUTURE never lingers on ill portents. Rather than attempting to grip us with existential despair, it dares to be interested with low stakes. It presents a playful challenge that keeps the experience light, breezy and inviting.