UK design blog Dezeen have collaborated with car manufacturer MINI at London Design Festival this year to create an exhibition of commissions exploring the future of transportation. Far from a showroom for shiny self-driving cars or connected-car dashboard concepts, was eclectic collection of exploratory interpretations by artists, designers and architects was on display in the ground floor entrance of design and furniture fair designjunction. The exhibition space itself embodied the theme—architect Pernilla Ohrstedt teaming up with 3D-scanning specialist ScanLAB to create her contribution 'Glitch Space'—an enormous arrangement of vinyl white dots meticulously laid out across the exhibit floor as a representation of the swaths of environmental data that will flow through the city in a future of driverless cars.
On the same theme, Dominic Wilcox, ever the inspiring out-of-the-box thinker, turned a lot of heads with the revealing of his incredible 'Stained Glass Driverless Sleeper Car.' Not just a pretty piece of craft, Wilcox's creation is actually a profound reflection on the future design possibilities for the automobile. In a future in which cars are self-driving and super safe, the forms, materials and uses that have constrained automotive design in our time may no longer apply. Although Wilcox's fictional future car manufacturer's website shows a spectacular array of possibilities this could present, the stunning stained-glass model on view demonstrated the equally appealing option of rolling around town in a half-car, half-bed 'hybrid,' revealed when lifting up the hood (below).
Equally thought provoking, artist and designer Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg explored the materiality of mobility, imagining a future world in which biological materials have become the mainstay of manufacturing and production. The abstract, miniature models on show hints to Ginsberg's hypothesis of a new 'ecosystem' of car parts; recycling and more localixed manufacturing perhaps encouraging the emergence of divergent designs reflecting local climates, tastes and fashions.
Keiichi Matsuda, architect and artist of LDF's past, displayed an extract of his upcoming films Hyper-Reality, exploring the seemingly dystopian possibilities of the colliding worlds of visual augmentation (think Google Glass and windshield heads-up displays) and auto-motoring.
In perhaps the furtherest-flung exploration of the exhibit, artist Lucy McRay imagines a future world of space exploration in which normal people will need to prepare and repair their bodies due to the stress that space travel can cause to bone and tissue.
Sam Dunne is a designer, strategist and writer based in London. Sam is founder of design strategy agency Cohere and Contributing Editor at Core77—reporting broadly on design, technology, food and object culture.