Future mobility for rural communities

We were invited by the Intelligent Mobility Design Centre at the Royal College of Art to design a publication for their research project aimed at highlighting the diverse opportunity for new mobility solutions

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As our cities continue to grow, much of the attention given to transport concentrates on themes of urban mobility.

This project for RCA students looked at the mobility needs of rural communities, identified as a vitally important sector given the increasing separation between rapidly growing smart cities and the typical neglect and underinvestment in rural communities.

The task was for the students to design a new mobility vision – either a vehicle, mobility system or artefact, which would help people be mobile, healthy and able to live freely and without compromise in a rural village environment. The timeframe for the challenge was set at 2030 and beyond.

The ambition of this project was to highlight the diverse opportunity for new mobility solutions by adopting a design research approach. This approach allowed students to explore and unpack the underlying systemic, social and technical issues that are involved in rural mobility, and use the insights from this analysis to identify a range of alternative mobility scenarios.

Above: Cone of Possible Futures, Joseph Voros, 2000
Below: Design Council’s Double Diamond Framework for Innovation, 2004

The designs documented in this report illustrate the imagination and creativity of a group of design students drawn from across the world. But it is the unique insights highlighting the areas to be targeted and opportunities to be taken, and the design process to be followed – placing the user at the heart of the design process.

Environmental sustainability is an integral part of Design Science’s ethos and expertise. Do get in touch to talk to us about how we can help you to radically reimagine the future in ways that care for each other and our environments.

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