Credits: David von Becker
Playful prototypes for the city of the future
What could mobility look like in the city of the future? What kinds of vehicles will we use to get around? The installation Fantastic Mobility by BADABOOMBERLIN invites visitors at Futurium to develop playful prototypes of vehicles for the city of the future.
Credits: David von Becker
"Our aim is to rethink means of transportation through experimentation and play," say designers Daniel Huber and Alessandro Maggioni. Their studio BADABOOMBERLIN has developed the installation Fantastic Mobility for the Futurium Lab. For several years, the designers have been working on interactive installations that stimulate creativity and invite people to play. To do this, they bring together new technologies with long-established forms of art. In their works, sensors meet paper and brushes. This is also the case with Fantastic Mobility: here, an interactive installation is created by combining an analogue tile-laying game and digital image recognition.
With Fantastic Mobility visitors can develop playful vehicle prototypes for the city of the future. To do this, different vehicle parts lying on a table are combined. A camera and image recognition software identify the combinations and assemble them in a ‘virtual garage’. By pressing a button, a hybrid vehicle then appears in a projected city of the future. The installation immediately invites you to play around. What would a car with sails look like? Or a submarine with bicycle propulsion? After a while, one realizes: each vehicle moves differently through the scenery. Because each part gives the vehicle different characteristics, resulting in advantages and disadvantages.
Learning to prototype through play
The playful approach of Fantastic Mobility draws upon an important concept from research and design: prototyping. When prototyping, scientists and designers develop a simplified model to test an idea in practice. This model is called a prototype. It can show in a short time whether a theoretical idea is feasible in practice. The great thing about prototyping is that you don't have to know all the details of what you want to build. A rough idea is enough. Indeed, what is crucial about prototyping are the new insights emerging during building, testing and trying. Inspired by this concept, Fantastic Mobility also invites you to test your ideas for the future of mobility: will there still be cars in the city in the future? Will underwater vehicles perhaps become part of everyday life? And which kinds of engines will we be able to use in a sustainable future?
Credits: David Weigend
Visions precede inventions
When you start prototyping, you soon realize that one needs a lot of imagination to envision the future of urban mobility. Indeed, prototyping can also be used to imagine different future scenarios, instead of looking for solutions for currently existing problems. Design fiction is one such approach that explores how everyday life might look or feel in different possible futures. It matters to explore these imaginative scenarios, because what is ordinary and everyday life to us today often started as such a scenario or vision. One could even say: visions precede inventions. But what kinds of visions do we have today for the mobility of the future? And how can we reconcile these visions with protecting our planet?