The Future of Transportation Could Include a Skateboard-Meets-Segway Hybrid Vehicle
That, and other concepts from architects, policy makers, and inventors are on display at the BSA.
As the MBTA focuses on small changes to the transit system in the current decade, architects and inventors from around the city have their eyes on what lies ahead for Bostonâs transportation system, and their concepts are on display.
The Boston Society of Architects gallery, BSA Space, is hosting a âfuture-orientedâ show on transformative transportation, called âRights of Way: Mobility and the City.â
Curated by James Graham and Meredith Miller of MILLIGRAM-office, an architecture firm based out of New York, the gallery display looks at the ways our urban environment constantly shifts, and how those changes need to be balanced between different individuals working in a variety of professional sectors.
From designers, to policy makers, business owners, and residents living in particular cities around the world, public rights are always at play in the shared commons of any landscape.
The gallery is part of âOverhaul: the 2013-2014 Transportation Series,â which was put together by the Boston Society of Architects, the Boston Foundation for Architecture, Bostonâs Green Ribbon Commission, and the Barr Foundation, and includes a speaker series as well.
âThe exhibition will examine large-scale urban futures, contemporary examples of innovative design for transit and public space, historical attempts at remaking the city, and individual adaptations of mobility systems,â according to a statement from BSA Space.
Miller said there are different elements to the exhibit, such as drawings, renderings, videos, and even live models of what future modes of transportation may look like.
âThere is an interesting concept about what transportation could be in 2030, and another is how it has been in the last few years,â she said.
One component is a rendering by architecture firm HĂ¶weler + Yoon Architecture, founded by an MIT architecture professor and Harvard Design graduate, which was picked as one of the winners of the 2012 Audi Urban Future Award.
âAudi invited five teams from around the world to do research and proposals for what their city could be like in the year 2030,â said Miller.
One of the machines on display, called the Green Machine, a Vespa-like vehicle, was created by inventors from the Saint Thomas Academy in Minnesota, with help from the Lemelson-MIT program in Cambridge. It was first conceptualized in 2008.
âItâs especially interesting because itâs a compact efficient vehicle. We think of them providing agile short distance service but this one gives it more protection. Itâs like a motorcycle with a body,â said Miller.
A skateboard-meets-Segway vehicle is also featured at the Rights of Way show. Miller said the contraption, which looks similar to an off-road vehicle, reacts to a userâs movements.
A third alternative mode of transport that inventors envision in Bostonâs future is a âhacked razor scooter with a boost,â Miller said, which comes from the MIT Media Lab.
âThey tie in because they can show what people can consider, and that the city doesnât have to look like it does now. Technologies combined with planning and policy could do a lot to transform our cities,â she said. âAll the objects and renderings provide a âwhat ifâ and a âwhat could beâ and thatâs an interesting thing to be left withârealizing there are all these assumptions about what we have for transportation, and challenging those is part of the job of the show.â
The ongoing event is free, and open to the public, and runs through May.
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2013/12/06/bsa-space-rights-of-way-mobility/