BMW i and Wallpaper*:
Wallpaper* and BMW i are giving six creative teams the opportunity to help write the future of their urban environment. The cities of the 20th century were shaped by transport, public and private; the challenge of the 21st is to keep Megacities moving.
The Sustainable Neighbourhoods Project.
Over the course of six months, Sustainable Neighbourhoods will explore, chronicle and research six different city zones, with the aim of defining a new infrastructural, cultural or social project that will scale seamlessly into the future. The possibilities are endless. Wallpaper and BMW i are looking for innovative thinking, a combination of pragmatism and panache that seeks out space and opportunity for change for the better. From infrastructure to personal future mobility, the unseen heart of the city, through to cultural or social initiatives that harness existing technologies or propose entirely new ones, this project is about seeking new ways of developing and sustaining communities in the heart of the Megacity, integrating transport, services, life, work, design and the urban fabric.
Watch the video below to see what Benoit Jacob, Head of BMW i Design, has to say about the "Sustainable Neighbourhoods" project:
Update: Watch the video below for an update of what the teams have been up to since the beginning of the project:
Update: Watch Benoit Jacob's final statement after the conclusion of the project:
Update: Watch the final wrap-up video below for an overview of the project-outcome:
Berlin's character and dynamism are derived from its fractured past. The post-reunification city is architecturally rich and its infrastructure complex, with a burgeoning cycling culture co-existing with public and private transport. Low car ownership and a walkable centre make it receptive to new ideas.
Update: After presenting first intermediate results two months ago, the 12 students from Kunsthochschule Berlin Weissensee concentrated on new car designs that explore ways in which connectivity, communications and interiors will evolve to deal with the broad demands of society responding to the ongoing debate of future mobility. Their final ideas range from concepts for ultra lightweight single-person vehicles through to emerging service providers offering a portfolio of vehicles. Check out their presentation in the video below:
Weissensee School of Art.
Berlin's School of Art and Design Berlin Weissense is one of the city's preeminent institutions, founded partly from the ashes of the Bauhaus but also hugely influenced by the directorship of the architect Mart Stam. Restructured in the reunification era, the KHB now sits at the heart of a city with a recent history of constant change.
This 500 square mile city has become globally synonymous with endless sprawl and quasi-religious automotive culture. Known for its infamous smogs, which kick-started California's draconian and innovative pollution legislation, LA remains utterly reliant on the car – yet its citizens are willing to seek out new ideas.
Update: The six students from UCLA Design Media Arts have worked out different ways to revive the area of Westwood Village in Los Angeles through light installations in trees, rooftop cinemas and an open air multimedia library. Watch the round-up below:
University College Los Angeles.
UCLA's student team is being overseen by Profesor Rebeca Méndez, who works in the University's department of Design / Media Arts. Mendez is widely exhibited and has extensive experience of multimedia work that looks at cultural expression and how it relates to location and place.
A city of parks, pagodas and bus routes, Hangzhou is typical of China's second tier urban centres, with modern life threaded through an often beautiful existing fabric. Still fast expanding, with a metro line in the works and a burgeoning tech centre, the city is home to thousands of students and a growing private transportation sector.
Update: Many people, heavy traffic, no space for people to interact – the four student teams from China Academy of Art in Hangzhou are presenting different ideas to solve these conflicts. Watch the video below:
China Academy of Art.
Founded in 1928, the China Academy of Art is one of the world's largest fine art institutions, with some 7000 students spread across four campuses. The Academy has embraced the Wallpaper*/BMW i project, as it has particular relevance for the fast-changing situation in urban China.
London presents an enormous challenge to future mobility. Due to the intense pressure on its public transport infrastructure, London was a pioneer of congestion charging. But the capital's historic core ensures that change has to be pragmatic, innovative and realised to an exceptional standard.
Update: The "Decorators" – a team of four students from Central St. Martins College of Art & Design, London dealt with the issue of car ownership in London being static, even declining, as public transportation, car sharing and other transportation systems expand. How will that change the look of the city? How could car spaces be used for the benefit of the community in the future? See their final presentation below:
Central St Martins.
London's Central St Martins is poised on the brink of a major move, one that epitomises the flux and flow of a major capital city. The esteemed cultural college's new Kings Cross campus, opening in Autumn 2011, will consolidate one of the capital's major centres of creativity.
Tokyo's massive rail-based infrastructure serves its commuting-dependent but crush-weary population efficiently but uncomfortably. With a hi-tech-friendly, rapidly regenerated urban landscape, Tokyo's relationship to personal mobility is open to change and innovation.
Update: After three months of work, the three student teams from Tokyo Communication Art are presenting BMW i and Wallpaper their concepts – very impressive concept vehicles and housing ideas. Their common focus: Communication and architecture. Watch the outcome in the clip below:
Tokyo Communication Art.
Tokyo Communication Art is home to one of Japan's most respected automotive design courses. Students at TCA are taking a transportation focus for their collaboration with Wallpaper* and BMW i.
The Parisian mobility experience is one of dense layers and much-needed local knowledge. One of the most walkable capitals, Paris rewards the urban explorer, whether on foot or on bike. France has led with city bike schemes, and its Vélib' is one of the world's largest. A free-spirited metropolis with headspace for change.
Within one week of intensive workshop, 12 students from Strate Collège, Paris formed three groups to develop concepts of new types of public transportation designed for specific historical neighbourhoods in a future Paris. Likewise see their final presentations in the video below: