Mar 7, 2009
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.
[Photo: Mark Charmer]