NYC's 'Future of Sports' Exhibit Reinvents Gym Class for the Instagram Generation

It's like your local gym. Just way, way prettier.

By Zachary Weiss

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12 November 2018

This piece is part of an ongoing editorial partnership with RealClearLife, a news and lifestyle site that connects successful men to everything they need to know. Be sure to head over to their website for the latest. 

There came a time, not too long ago, when the great keepers of New York City’s ground floor retail landscape chose to lighten up a bit. Vacant properties wouldn’t require multi-year commitments, but rather just a month or two. In doing so, a new sort of experience — the pop-up “museum” — sprouted in all corners and boroughs with some delightfully quirky themes.

Now, springing up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, through the fall/winter seasons is Future of Sports, a 9,000-sq-ft space that takes the pop-up museum concept beyond simple Instagram bait and into a world of real, physical activity — perhaps to work off gluttonous foodscape-themed pop-ups that have arisen earlier. Like the Museum of Pizza, which saw visitors leaving covered in cheesy T-shirts, followed by the Museum of Ice Cream, then came The Egg House, an homage to — you’ve guessed it — the egg.

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The Future of Sports interactive exhibition concept has already taken Washington, D.C., by storm last year when a whopping 20,000 people purchased tickets during its two-month run in a former clothing store on the city’s H Street NE. It’s the brainchild of Nicole Pinedo, who, prior to kicking off Future of Sports, considered herself to be chiefly a multidisciplinary artist, often producing content for emerging musical acts, with a side of sports fanatic that stemmed from an early age watching her father compete in the 1994 World Cup playing for Bolivia.

“The mission of future of sports is to bring people together by creating community,” Pinedo told us. “We want to inspire them to move; to be healthy and fit, and mobilize them to create change in their communities by inspiring through sports, art, and culture.”

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A visit to this new iteration of the pop-up, located inside of a repurposed warehouse, is a bit like stepping into a futuristic playground of fitness. Visitors can get moving with instructor-led classes from workout programs du moment like boxing, cycling and even Y7 hip-hop yoga, but instead of getting a sweat on in a dark and nondescript studio, it’s all done alongside visually stimulating art installations.

In one room, a basketball court is reimagined with a monochrome hoop and day-glo walls, and in the cycling studio, a sterile, neon-lit rotunda that might feel right at home in Cary Fukunaga’s latest Netflix hit, Maniac. However, the ultimate crowd pleaser comes at the end of the winding maze of visually captivating vignettes where you find that a pool’s tiling and numbered lanes has been wrapped around a single narrow hallway — seemingly reverse-engineered from the very beginning for the perfect Instagram solo shot.

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After some first-hand participation in a workout at the space, we’re game for a future where fitness and elevated aesthetics can live happily together. To see Future of Sports first-hand, tickets can be purchased here.

Image via Future of Sports.

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