I’m interested in the future of transportation and visual expressions of car and pedestrian travel. Historical records of public transit alternatives are now seen through a hazy nostalgia.
The vista of the skyscraper viewed from the parkway, or the convenience of the zero-turn radius lawnmower, are evidence of our attachment to the automobile and its ability to physically shape our culture and mold expectations.
I found roadway intersections that are perilous for pedestrians to cross and dystopian cartoons of couch-potato-like riders. These images can propel fears of enforced automobility. Yet surviving archways remind us of our pedestrian past, while existing sidewalks enable coexistence between walkers and drivers. There are contemporary voices calling for multiple transportation modes in the future.
After DesignInquiry in Vinalhaven I traveled to New York City and experienced two benchmarks of present automotive culture. The first was an exhibition of work by Syd Mead, illustrator and conceptual designer of futuristic vehicles for both Detroit and Hollywood. The second was a visit to the Manhattan showroom of Tesla Motors; the upstart California manufacturer of electric cars and contender to represent American innovation. Both clearly showed that how we transport ourselves is steered by emotional and aesthetic drives as much as by wheels or legs.