Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

BA 2119: Flight of the Future at the Saatchi Gallery

BA 2119: Flight of the Future at the Saatchi Gallery
31 Jul
A new exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery flies forward 100 years, taking an imaginative look at the future of air travel

What will planes look like in 2119? What will passengers sit on, what will they eat and how will they carry (or not) their luggage? To celebrate its 100th anniversary, British Airways, in collaboration with the Royal College of Art, presents some novel ideas in response to these questions.

britishairways 216861335542898The future? 3D-printed meals, personalised for each passenger

Here you’ll find 3D-printed meals, based on each passenger’s exacting requirements; wearable seats which grow and move around the body; wall panels which produce electricity via the power of plants , and much more. Don’t expect to find things that are in development now, or things that are likely to be any time soon (or possibly ever) – this exhibition is about letting the imagination run free and throwing the rule book out the window. But that’s not to say that many of the themes and concepts included within each exhibit aren’t relevant. A focus on sustainability, as well as the prominent use of robotics, AI and 3D printing means that however wacky some of the ideas may seem, they are largely rooted in existing technology and based on existing concerns.

britishairways 21686373875457When a chair is no longer a chair – reimagining space, movement and safety on-board

As is only fitting for an exhibition with an eye firmly on the future, the exhibition also features an immersive VR experience. Interactive and multi-sensory (think wafting smells, bursts of air and gentle movement), the experience, built by award-winning VR creators and an Oscar-winning practical effects team, traces humankind’s relationship with flight, allowing you to soar above-ground in the Wright Brother’s landmark creation and take the controls of a Concorde.

Anyone with a penchant for predicting the future will enjoy this exhibition, whether a frequent flyer or not. With its blend of design, construction and a little science, it presents an entirely new picture of what it could mean to fly. Best not to worry that it isn’t hugely concerned with scientific detail – this is all about vision. And who knows, perhaps one of these ideas will prove to be the start of something revolutionary. 

BA 2119: FLIGHT OF THE FUTURE runs from 1 to 26 August 2019. The exhibition is free to enter. The 11-minute VR experience is £20 per ticket and available from www.ba.com/ba2119

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in REVIEWS...


Our pick of the 10 best books of 2021 


Tom Chivers is a writer, publisher and arts producer. His…


Our nonfiction reviews for Septemer 


Journalist, author and humanitarian Tara Kangarlou spent four years reporting…


Jonathan Drori CBE FRGS is the author of the international…


Explore the month's best nonfiction reads