Genesis Future Cities Project at MAF

For more information on Genesis, please visit their website.

What to expect

Students will design, make, and share a project over the course of their time in the lab. Each session explores future cities by challenging students to imagine solutions to complex problems.  As more schools visit MAF, we curate our own exhibition space with students’ projects that reference specific pieces in the galleries.

Genesis currently offers two types of visits to the lab:

Gateway Experience (90–180 minutes)

Students start their visit with a gallery tour highlighting MAF artists relevant to the lab project. The remainder of the visit is spent in the lab working at the intersection of art and technology to design and prototype real solutions to future urban living challenges.  This trip requires no prep work. The Genesis challenges in the lab changes as the art in the galleries change. Below find examples of past activities. For groups more than 30 students, Genesis recommends at least 120 minute visit.

Past activities include:

MAF X Ai Weiwei X Genesis

Ai Weiwei installation at the Marciano Art Foundation, which was exhibited from September 28, 2018 – March 3, 2019, featured a number of inspirational and impactful works.

The exhibition included Ai Weiwei’s response to the global refugee crisis as well as his creature series which features his sculptural versions of the mythic creatures from Shanhaijing. The classic Chinese text compiles mythic geography and myth.

After exploring the exhibit, students create their own creatures using laser cut body parts inspired by the creatures in the exhibit. Afterwards, students work as a team to write their own mythology about their creature. Their stories must have their creatures traveling from their homeland to a new place. We give each team a problem card, which features different reasons migrants are forced to leave their homeland. Reasons like crime, climate change, and lack of access to resources like clean drinking water are themes students explore during their story writing process.

Students then animate their story on MIT’s free drag and drop programming website, Scratch. The end result are creative and meaningful stories and movies that reflect the depth and beauty of Ai Weiwei’s exhibition.

Innovation Lab in a Box and Lab Visit (8 week curriculum plus single visit)

The Genesis iLab Experience challenges students to design, make, and share a solution to a future cities challenge. Participating classes receive a Genesis Kit which includes enough materials, professional development and curriculum for a class of 30 to work through an 8 week design cycle, including a trip to the lab. This trip does require that a facilitator run weekly sessions with students leading up to their visit. However, the curriculum is designed to allow even the least tech-savvy facilitator to learn and experiment along with their students as they design, prototype, ideate, and test their Future Cities concepts. We are currently piloting this curriculum and if you are interested in participating please contact

Students will experiment with

  • Robotics
  • Computational Tinkering
  • Physical Computing
  • 3D Design
  • 3D Printing
  • Virtual Reality
  • Augmented Reality
  • Projection Mapping
  • Wearable Technology
  • Game Design
  • Rapid Prototyping
  • App Development
  • Internet of Things
  • Programming
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechatronics

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Genesis at the Marciano Art Foundation?

Genesis at the Marciano Art Foundation is a joint project between Genesis, a STEAM education non-profit, and the Marciano Art Foundation. School group visits to MAF allow  thousands of K-12 students, adult design mentors, and MAF featured artists will work collaboratively to decide how art and technology will be used to thoughtfully and creatively solve the challenges of urban living. Students work together to design, build and share a project inspired by the MAF exhibitions. The activities are designed to introduce students to the basics of coding and circuitry while challenging to students to imagine solutions to future city problems. As more schools visit MAF, with each group building a unique project, our exhibitions space will continue to grow with the ideas and contributions of students locally and nationwide.

How much does this trip cost?

Admission is FREE for everyone.

How early in advance should I make a reservation?

Please submit requests as soon as possible and at least three weeks before your first choice of visit date to allow time to process it. We do our best to accommodate last-minute requests, but we cannot guarantee availability. If you are going to cancel your visit and are receiving a bus scholarship, please cancel no later than 2 weeks in advance of your trip.

How do we get to MAF?

MAF is able to offer LAUSD Title I schools a limited number of bus scholarships. If you are interested in receiving a scholarship, please indicate this on your school group request.

If you receive a bus scholarship, there are two options for securing the bus, the first option is preferred because it allows us to keep transportation costs low, which ultimately allows for more kids to use the bus program.

Option 1: Reimbursement (preferred method). Whoever is coordinating the trip must submit an invoice with supporting documentation to MAF (ie the invoice which the school paid) and MAF will reimburse the school.

Option 2: Direct Reservation. If there’s no way to book your own bus, then MAF will book one through a charter bus company.

How many students can attend?

In order to give students the best experience possible, we ask that schools bring a maximum of 60 students. If you are coming with 60 students, please allow a minimum of 120 minutes for your visit. If you are coming with 30 students or less, we can accomodate a shorter visit.

How many adult chaperones should we bring?

We ask that you bring one adult for every 15 students.

What about lunches and backpacks?

We encourage groups to leave their backpacks on the bus.  Lunch is permitted in the courtyard as long as the following guidelines are adhered to:

  • Students and Chaperones should maintain a clean environment
  • Students should not leave group unattended. If student needs to use the restroom, a chaperone or lab assistant will need to be present at all times
  • No running or playing in the courtyard. There are large sculptures in the courtyard and students may hurt themselves or damage the sculptures by playing near them.
  • Students should remain seated while eating.
  • Limit lunchtime to 30 minutes after their Genesis x MAF visit has ended

Where should we park? 

MAF is located at 4357 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010. The entrance to the building is on Lucerne Boulevard. While there is a parking lot, we are unable to accommodate buses. You may unload and load on Lucerne, outside of the entrance to the courtyard.

What is the agenda for the visit?

The activities in the lab change as the art on display at the MAF is changed. The visit will be between 1.5–3 hours depending on how many students are attending. During your visit students will go on a tour of MAF to familiarize themselves with the work of our featured artist and other relevant pieces.  Next students separate into five lab groups and learn about their creative challenge for the day. The remaining time will be spent working in tasks groups on a specific part of their project. Before departing, student groups will present their code and prototype.

Who should I contact to make a reservation or ask questions?

To make a reservation, please complete the school visit request form. For all other questions contact Stephanie Torres at

Inside the Masonic Temple.