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Drew Smith: ethnographer, strategist and host of Rising Minds

Have you asked, I mean really asked, yourself recently why you design cars?

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(Change cars as you see fit, the ultimate point of this post is the same whatever industry you work in)

I’ve recently been sounding out the view that now is a good time to really start changing how the automobile industry approaches the design and production of cars.

Is the time right for a manufacturer to boldly transition to becoming a provider of personal transport ecosystems rather than just churning out the same old horse and carriage that has brought us thus far? I’ve a suspicion that there are a couple of manufacturers working on this basis at the moment but a public launch could be the shot in the arm that gets society-at-large thinking deeply about the future of personal transport and how we can transition to a more sustainable, holistic model.

Of course, there are intermediaries such as Zipcar, DB Car Sharing and the grassroots ride sharing movement, but they work within the existing framework. What if there was a completely integrated vertical model, similar to Apple’s, but without requiring ownership? Could it work? Am I starting to sound like a loon?

As a car lover I’m torn, obviously. But at some point something’s gotta give.

It’s a rather long winded introduction but I was encouraged to write this post after having read a fantastic interview with Allan Chochinov, editor-in-chief of Core77, over at the AIGA page. He discusses his approach to design, his advocacy of a return to service design and his teaching. Highly recommended reading.

To Design or Not to Design: A Conversation with Allan Chochinov: Voice: AIGA Journal of Design: Writing: AIGA.

[Image: Melodi2]

Category: Design, Design Strategy, Things I like

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© Andrew Philip Artois Smith and DownsideUpDesign, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Andrew/Drew Smith and DownsideUpDesign with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.