Drew Smith: ethnographer, strategist and host of Rising Minds

Retour ahead: shifting the personal mobility paradigm


Mark Charmer over at Re*Move has just published a great piece on the current state of the car industry and offers a suggestion as to where it might head in order to survive.

Most interesting was Mark’s observation about the generational change in attitudes towards owning cars:

New technologies change how and why we move, too… . Today, our lives are often half physical, half virtual. The Facebook generation has new ways to demonstrate its individuality without buying a Clio or a Focus or an MX-5. We interact differently and spend differently – and this is going to change more in future than it has already.

This change in modes of expression and the subsequent impact on mobility and spending patterns is something I’ve recently debated at length.

Some have suggested that we need to find ways to get current and future generations to fall in love with buying cars again. It’s argued that the creation of new automotive icons will once again make owning a car desirable, similar to the effect of the Model T, Beetle, 2CV and Golf in the 20th century. Although the positive impact of mass personal mobilisation can not be underestimated, it was the unchecked expansion of an ownership model that has contributed to our current environmental and financial predicament.

I’ve been arguing that we need to move to a more democratic model of distributed ownership or rental. Mark further consolidates and builds on this argument. In doing so, he calls for the design community at large to join in and effect fundamental change on the personal mobility paradigm. It’s an exciting proposition that still takes into account our love of personal mobility while minimising the negatives.

Head on over to Re*Move to check out the rest.

[Photo: Mark Charmer]

Category: Car, Design, Design Strategy, Eco, Uncategorized

Tagged: , , ,

One Response

  1. […] as big a problem as you first think. Given my recent post about repairing things and mutual musing here and over at Re*Move on the topic of a more democratic model of vehicle distribution, the components […]

Leave a Reply


© 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.