Streets without limits: Audi and BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group present “Urban Future” at Design Miami/ 2011
- LED exhibit “Urban Future” will allow visitors to interact with the city of tomorrow
- Conceptual installation is based on a vision of a city that blurs the lines between roads, sidewalks and city squares
- BIG founder Bjarke Ingels: “The street becomes a digital surface”
Visitors to Design Miami/ 2011 from November 30 to December 4 can interact with city of the future at a special exhibit on display at the show. Produced in cooperation with Audi AG and Copenhagen-based architect firm BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, the interactive LED installation called “Urban Future” will feature a life-size rendering of a conceptual roadway based on new theories of transportation and infrastructure. The model also will feature the Audi A2 concept car, an all-electric vehicle that communicates with its surroundings.
The idea behind “Urban Future” was initially developed by BIG as their entry the 2010 Audi Urban Future Award 2010, an architecture and urban development competition that constitutes one of the pillars of the brand’s larger Urban Future Initiative. For Design Miami/ 2011, BIG founder Bjarke Ingels and Partner Andreas K. Pedersen have transformed their vision into an interactive LED installation that represents a section of the city of tomorrow. The hypothesis put forward by BIG visualizes streets that communicate with every road user, including pedestrians and vehicles.
“If I imagine a city in 25 years’ time, the vertical facades appear unchanged, but the roadway has become a digitally programmable surface. Fixed elements such as carriageways, sidewalks or city squares no longer exist” said Ingels. “The digital surfaces can be adapted to all road users and in this way control the traffic. On one single day, the street can change many times: from pedestrian area to highway, from city square to meadow.”
The Audi A2 concept is an important part of BIG’s’ installation. Audi presented the show car for the first time this year at the Frankfurt International Motor Show. BIG had a good reason for incorporating the A2 concept in his work: the car is able to communicate with its environment. For Ingels, this is a prerequisite for a networked, mobile future.
“The installation allows the visitor to experience the vision of a connected future. It answers one of the most fascinating questions of the Audi Urban Future Award in spatial terms,” said Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management for Marketing and Sales at AUDI AG. “It gives a living impression of how networking might appear in the city of the future and of how new opportunities for intelligent use of urban space might arise.”
The installation at Design Miami/ is visually reminiscent of a short section of road, and consists of a digitally programmable LED surface that senses movements, coordinates the various participants in traffic and adapts to their needs. 3D cameras record all movements and feed them into the LED surface, allowing the visitor to experience the communication between cars, pedestrians and the street at the show booth.
“Our long-term partner Audi has always used Design Miami/ as a platform to explore challenging issues in contemporary design”, says Marianne Goebl, Director of Design Miami/. “Audi’s collaboration with BIG projects us into a future where urban design and architecture interplay to create a flexible programmable environment. It is an inspiring contribution to Design Miami’s ongoing exploration of the inextricable connection between these creative fields.”
Audi has been a sponsor and exhibitor at the Design Miami/ fair since 2006. In this capacity, the brand has experimented with themes such as mobility, technology, material and design since the partnership’s inception, expressing its ideas on the future of design and encouraging creative dialogue.
ABOUT DESIGN MIAMI/
The seventh edition of Design Miami/ will feature the world’s leading galleries specializing in 20th and 21st century collectible design. Design Miami/ is the most prominent and substantive forum for design, representing a convergence of commerce and culture. Its annual shows in Basel, Switzerland (June) and Miami, Florida (December) bring together the most influential collectors, gallerists, designers, curators and critics from around the world. For further information, please visit www.designmiami.com and www.designmiamiblog.com.
About Bjarke Ingels
Bjarke Ingels is a rising star in the international architectural scene. Much of his work revolves around the complex interrelationships of urban life. His most spectacular design objects to date are the residential apartment buildings in Ørestad on the outskirts of Copenhagen. Together with other architects of the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Ingels implemented his vision of urban density in these apartment buildings with their futuristic impression. He has already received renowned architectural prizes, including the Golden Lion. He currently teaches at Columbia University in New York.
ABOUT THE AUDI URBAN FUTURE INITIATIVE
In an effort to actively shape the transition to a new mobility epoch, the Audi Urban Future Initiative aims to establish a dialog on the synergy of mobility, architecture and urban development by means of the view into the future. Rooted in the belief that the current challenges of mobility can only be solved collectively and interdisciplinary, it represents an essential part of the brand’s commitment to urban mobility as a whole and is designed to change both thought patterns and corporate culture. For more information, please visit http://www.audi-urban-future-initiative.com.
Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands globally. During 2010 Audi was the top performing luxury brand in Europe, and broke all-time company sales records in the U.S. Over the next few years, AUDI AG will invest nearly $16 billion on new products and technologies. Visit www.audiusa.com or www.audiusanews.com for more information regarding Audi vehicle and business issues.