National Museum of African American History and Culture

Exploring the Past & Present to Guide Black Futures


The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) launched a new year-long special exhibit entitled Afrofuturism: A History of Black Futures. NMAAHC wanted to provide a gallery guide that engaged viewers to interact with the displayed artifacts and allowed them to learn more about what they saw. The museum also wanted the guide to lead the viewers through the exhibit and share curated journeys they could take through the galleries if they had limited time.


Taking cues from the exhibit’s look, feel, and physical layout, we crafted a guide that included science-fiction, technology, and futuristic design motifs like those often incorporated in works of Afrofuturistic literature, music, and art. We divided the guide into three sections—each reflecting the design aesthetic and theme of the corresponding physical gallery space, leading the viewer from one area to the next. We highlighted key artifacts from the exhibit with photography and created icons to accompany thoughtful questions NMAAHC included in the guide for adults and kids to ponder.

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