Metropolitan culture – from dense urban aggregates to suburban sprawl is saturated by collective imagery of the motor car. Our relationship with the automobile is complex, even polemical. No entity arguably, and certainly no other form of mobility has shaped the way we organise cities, infrastructures, economies, labour pools or even carve up a housing block, more voraciously than the car. Between limitless freedom and utter dependence, the motor car permeates urban life.
The evolving connection with the motor car is concurrent with the myriad ways in which technologies and an internet-of-things (IoT) have impacted the method and medium through which to engage with society, the city, and the culture of consumption. This has significantly challenged and enhanced the manner in which the automobile is designed, manufactured and marketed.
This project interrogates our relationship with the car and the city, and how this transformation will inform the environment in which the automobile is displayed, demonstrated and traded. The focus will be the ‘showroom’ as the primary format through which manufacturers and customers engage. An arena for transaction. We will trace its provenance and ideologies, its shifting scale and type. Its agility with the diverse fabric of the built environment will be examined.
Will ride-sharing disrupt the retail environment?
How will hybrids and electric vehicles stimulate a change in our interaction with car manufacturers?
Will autonomous vehicles, virtual and augmented realities and an IoT prompt a complete rethinking of our relationship with the car?
What will the future showroom look like?
The project will propose and project a real and counterfactual future, assembling a rich database and catalogue of research and analysis through a publication. There will also be design scenarios.
This project is an industry-partnered research project with Green Magazine / Green Publishers, MINI / MINI Living and RMIT University School of Architecture and Urban Design. MINI is a brand pillar and subsidiary of the BMW Group. MINI / MINI Living has been engaged in the creative use of space with an aim to address the pressing issues of future urban living. The project will form part of a public exhibition in July 2020.
Ian Nazareth, Damien Camilleri, Zijing Chu, Neal Kaldor, Toby Richardson
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