The Road Ahead: Reimagining Mobility at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, December 14, 2018 – March 31, 2019

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum presents ‘The Road Ahead: Reimagining Mobility’ featuring 40 projects that explore salient topics around the future of mobility and the urban environment. The exhibition is punctuated with six provocations and a selection of design responses that reimagine livable streets and the way people, goods and services will move in a new age of connected and transformational mobility.

‘The Road Ahead’ addresses the fundamental question: how do people want to live? On view in the third floor Barbara and Morton Mandel Design Gallery, the exhibition examines accessibility, equity, trust, safety and security, the efficient movement and delivery of freight, smart infrastructure and the use of sidewalks and curb sharing. These challenges present a critical opportunity to pursue a new user-centered vision for streets and infrastructure to create more livable, inclusive and equitable cities, with services, ride-sharing and mass-transit solutions that minimize greenhouse gases and address the users’ needs.” — Cooper Hewitt

Blueprint for Autonomous Urbanism, 2017; National Association of City Transportation Officials (US and Canada); Copyright © 2017 National Association of City Transportation Officials. Reproduced with permission.

Photorealistic rendering based off of concepts in the NACTO Blueprint for Autonomous Urbanism. Copyright © 2017 Bloomberg Philanthropies. Reproduced with permission by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the National Association of City Transportation Officials.

Zipline Autonomous Drone Delivery System, 2016; Zipline (Half Moon Bay, CA); Courtesy of Zipline.

CanguRo (prototype), 2018; Designed by Shunji Yamanaka; Fabricated by fuRo (Japan); Chiba Institute of Technology (fuRo). Courtesy of Chiba Institute of Technology (fuRo).

Starship Autonomous Delivery Robot, 2014; Starship Technologies (San Francisco, CA); Starship Technologies. Courtesy of Starship Technologies.

Starship Autonomous Delivery Robot, 2014; Starship Technologies (San Francisco, CA); Starship Technologies. Courtesy of Starship Technologies.

Moveo Foldable Electric Scooter, 2016; Designed by Péter Üveges; Manufactured by Moveo (Mosonmagyaróvár, Hungary); Courtesy of Moveo.

Moveo Foldable Electric Scooter, 2016; Designed by Péter Üveges; Manufactured by Moveo (Mosonmagyaróvár, Hungary); Courtesy of Moveo.

The Artists’ Incubator (concept), 2018; Jiahe Chen, UCLA, Miao He, UCLA, Gautham Varma, ArtCenter College of Design; Photo by Miao He and Jiahe Chen.

The Float Concept Vehicle, 2017; Designed by Yuchen Cai, University of the Arts London for Renault Car of the Future Contest (France); Courtesy of Renault.

-ROAD Electric Vehicle, 2013; Toyota Motor Corporation (Aichi Prefecture, Japan); Courtesy of Toyota.

Hyperloop One; 2014–present; Virgin Hyperloop One (Los Angeles, CA); © Hyperloop Technologies, Inc.

 “‘The Road Ahead’ points to several possible futures for our cities and asks audiences to consider how design will improve and expand options for urban transport,” said Cooper Hewitt Director Caroline Baumann. “Inviting our visitors to consider and creatively think about the possible outcomes provided by the revolutionary new technologies on the horizon—from grocery-delivering robots to autonomous shuttle services—the exhibition encourages public engagement in the civic dialogue needed to ensure that new designs for mobility are sustainable, equitable and life-improving for all.” 

“The Road Ahead” is organized by Cara McCarty, the museum’s director of curatorial; Cynthia E. Smith, curator of socially responsible design; and Julie Pastor, curatorial assistant. Exhibition is designed by Matter Architecture Practice. Exhibition graphics by Pure + Applied. 

Images courtesy Cooper Hewitt.