How ideas from RCA students for a megacity taxi in 2040 can impact on our future

Discussions on smart cities tend to miss the cultural side – the various social landscapes, which is why these designs by Royal College of Art Intelligent Mobility students – asked to imagine a taxi in a speculative megacity of 2040 – are worth looking into. A couple offer some sophisticated critical design thinking too with ideas that may have seemed impossible dreams before the pandemic made all things impossible possible.... Read More

MINI Vision Urbanaut is a shape-shifting EV that rethinks personal transport’s form and function

In 1959, the Suez Crisis led to oil shortages and the rise of fuel prices across the western world. British Motor Corporation responded by creating an economy car which was affordable and used little petrol. The Sir Alec Issigonis design for the original Mini was genius. The tiny motor car he invented for BMC could pack in more passengers than any other in its comparable size – and it was super-fun to drive too. The Boomers and young... Read More

See how tech firm Komma is rethinking future cities

The Urban Mobility Vehicle hovers somewhere between a motorbike and a conventional car. It is agile like a two-wheeler, but with the comfort and safety of four wheels. the UMV runs on electricity has a much smaller footprint than a standard city car and is around 34% more energy efficient than your average electric vehicle. Plus, it is designed as a premium product by former creatives from Pininfarina. Possibly even more exciting is the brand... Read More

From ‘Me Too’ to ‘Black Lives Matter’, How the car industry could do better

As Ford design manager and one of the only women in a senior position, in the 1970s and 80s Mimi Vandermolen helped pioneer the current ergonomic approach to interior design © Ford I entered journalism through the automotive corridor. Fresh from university, with a background in the arts, a Design History degree and virtually no real-life working skills, I took the first job that presented itself at a dry auto technology magazine. The publisher... Read More

Rolls-Royce Ghost is a peek into the new face of luxury

2020 Rolls-Royce Ghost © Leigh Banks The new Rolls Royce Ghost is reflective of a visual language for a (hopefully) more subtle and discreet post-pandemic luxury landscape. Seen – and to be driven later this month – this is an accomplished product that wears its wealth lightly. And I’m sincerely hoping the design team will entice their wealthy and influential customers to invest in more sustainable fabrics inside and to use... Read More

The ultimate car accessory could be this Negroni Trunk

A little while ago I co-wrote a book entirely dedicated to the sweet side of life – much of which existed purely in the imagination. The design critic Stephen Bayley generously wrote of The Life Negroni: ‘It is an album, a love letter, a guide, a memoir and a rich source of graphic delight.’ With a sweet spot for any project that defies convention and (even better) isn’t made for profit, I couldn’t help but... Read More

Progressive transport from the 2020 Geneva Motor Show

Following the precautionary cancellation of the Geneva Motor Show earlier this month, I take a look at some of the more progressive cars and transport ideas that would have been on exhibition. Take a closer look at my technology edit, and read about the McLaren 765LT and BMW Concept i4 in more detail.  Read More

Flexi Pix City learns from self-driving cars

We are at a really critical time in history – more than 70% of the world’s population is migrating to cities over the next 30 years, and technology is completely altering our reality. We have to rethink how we live, work, interact, consume … I see this as a hugely exciting time. And there are some very exciting innovators and thinkers and designers working on highly progressive concepts. Here’s the latest one I came across  Read More

Brave new word: Reflections on 2019, predictions for 2020

Needless to say, it has been a turbulent introductory decade to the new millennium with so much profound change and so many challenges ahead. Yet, even as dark as it is politically around the world, and hopeless as it feels with our planet’s health and our people’s happiness, we may have climbed the steepest part. Joan Didion wrote, ‘I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see, and what it means.’... Read More

Insight: Paolo Pininfarina on the past and future of the famed Italian design studio

Pininfarina is responsible for some of the most enduring and exotic motor cars in design history. Founded by Battista ‘Pinin’ Farina in 1930, the carrozzeria has sketched products that have become icons for Ferrari, Fiat, and Alfa Romeo – to name a few. The studio works within the wider creative world too, designing jets, yachts, trains, buses, and other industrial products. It is also expanding its architecture practice with... Read More

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