Since its invention the car has always been about more than just movement. The automobile and auto-mobility have brought about a whole range of phenomena that, to a large extent, define our society. It has produced new infrastructures, innovations and cultures. In many places in the world, life without a car is not thinkable or worse, as in the large suburban developments in the industrialized nations, not possible.
In order for individual mobility to retain the role it has today, automobility needs to be reinvented fundamentally. New efficiencies, multi-modal transport systems, energy sources, behaviours and cultural values need to be developed, especially when faced with the huge potential demands in emergent economic powers like China and India.
Based on research conducted by Hosoya Schaefer Architects and graphical language defined by Buro Destruct, shiftcontrol was asked to define the interaction concepts, develop a runtime platform and realize a media installation on automobility for Autostadt Wolfsburg, a subsidiary of Volkswagen. The research and graphic work of Hosoya Schaefer has been brought to life in interactive three-dimensional graphics illustrating topics like 'highway city' or 'oil world', with the aim of providing critical information rather than straightforward corporate communication.
The project shows in encyclopaedic breadth topics that define contemporary mobility. The topics are organized in three large chapters (culture, economy and system) and twelve themes ranging from mobile space to fuel. Each theme again is examined in the scale of the car, the region, the world and time. Throughout the themes, the project intends to show the link between individual experience and global effects. The installation consists of four stations, each powered by 2 high-performance Apple QuadCore G5's, three 19" touchscreens and one wall mounted 56" LCD running at full HD (1920x1080px).