The concept A.WAY by Berlin-based J. Mayer H. Architects has been announced the Winner at the Audi Urban Future Award - Building a Vision for 2030. The award aims to establish a dialogue on the synergy of mobility, architecture and urban development by means of a tangible view into the future, without losing sight of the perspective of the Audi brand as an automobile manufacturer.
At the heart of the award process was a competition between six internationally renowned architectural firms: J. Mayer H. Architects, Alison Brooks Architects, BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group, Cloud 9, standardarchitecture and Diller Scofidio + Renfro.
Parallel to the 12th Architecture Biennial in Venice, tomorrow, on August 27, 2010, the Audi Urban Future Award exhibition will open at Scuola Grande della Misericordia. Five of the architecture offices invited to participate will be presenting the results of their work to the public in an exhibition designed by Raumlaborberlin.
A.WAY Concept Statement by J. MAYER H.
Once upon a time, around 1985, the world discovered the ozone hole and it changed the way we think about our future. From now on, consumption, production and mobility are at stake. With the introduction of digital technologies in the early 21st century based on electricity as the main source for energy supply, our cities will grow free of pollution and congestion; green, clean, quiet and efficient.
Visions of the future have always been a place of speculation for mobility. The 20th century proposed playful and even sometimes naive visions of flying cars and underwater urban settings. Novel ways of flying around galaxies, journeying to the centre of the earth, diving into submarine worlds, traveling through time, jumping through universes, teletransporting, injecting into and voyaging through the blood stream of a human body populated our visions of the future. Maybe, in the long term, we will experience these magical modes of transportation. Yet the short-term future might be invisible first.
Individual mobility of the future will strongly be linked to the developments of digitally augmented urban spaces, automated driving and personalized data exchange between the human body and its environment. Traffic will be a constant flow, with no more need for parked vehicles. Pedestrian areas will regain their lost space from cars. Repercussions will be seen on a social, economic and ecological level. Surveillance technologies will transform the city and its inhabitants into a flow of data, blurring the boundaries between body, car and architecture.
New forms of perception will arise from digital technologies. They will allow for each one of us to selectively allow or reject individual aspects of the city. The car will transform from being a viewing machine for maneuvering in traffic towards a sensorial experience machine. Driving through the city will put our senses and sensibilities into the foreground and allow us to interact with the urban context in completely new ways.
And there is always the option of a collapse of all systems that might come as a surprise, keep us going, force us to improvise, invent and move ahead. If at that point cities have proved once more to be flexible, adjustable, able to transform and survive, then we will live under a protecting ozone layer again, happily ever after.
"A DRIVING MACHINE BECOMES A VIEWING MACHINE. THAT MEANS THAT THE OCCUPANT CAN EXPERIENCE THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT IN A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT WAY, INDEPENDENTLY OF WHETHER THE CAR IS MOVING OR HAS TO STOP OR BRAKE. WHAT WE ARE ADVOCATING IS CLEANSING THE CITY OF ALL OF THE TOOLS THAT ARE IMPORTANT TODAY IN ORDER TO MAKE INDIVIDUAL MOBILITY WITHIN THE CITY POSSIBLE." Jürgen Mayer H.
Here are a few glimpses of the concepts by the other participating architecture firms that will be exhibited at the Audi Urban Future Award exhibition in Venice tomorrow: