In a future of fully automated, computer-controlled vehicles, airbags and crumple zones will be redundant, British artist, designer and inventor Dominic Wilcox suggests. So why not build an intricate stained-glass car? The safe, driverless cars of the future will free up designers to create radically different car designs, ones that you can just sit in and sleep while it drives you to your destination. "I was really struck by the stained glass windows of Durham Cathedral," he explains. "I thought, 'Why don't we use that so much in contemporary design?' So I'm learning a bit about glass making and working out how on earth does one make a stained-glass car of the future?" Dominic is interested in technology, he says, “because it is the closest thing to magic”.
British-Colombian artist Matthew Plummer-Fernandez re-imagines the familiar dashboard bobblehead as a personal, 3D-printed driving companion used to communicate with our cars. The idea is inspired by the practice of sticking small figurines onto car dashboards to bring good luck. "These avatars would have a personal relationship with the driver," he explains. "They would be something that you would purchase as a product or a service, but as you develop a relationship it would learn your preferences. So even if you change vehicle you could take this avatar with you and install it into yournext vehicle.
Architect Pernilla Ohrstedt will design MINI’s exhibition space at designjunction and showcase her take on the future of travel within it. Pernilla predicts our cars will soon be able to collect detailed 3D scans of the world around us as we drive – and will explore how we might use this to create real-time 3D maps of our cities. "We can already go onto Google Earth and check tourist destinations," she says. "In the future it's really conceivable that we'll start travelling the virtual world instead of the physical, because it will be scanned at such high resolution."
‘Frontiers - The Future of Mobility’, presented by MINI and Dezeen, takes place at designjunction, the Old Sorting Office, from September 17-21 as part of London Design Festival. Press previews 17 September, exhibition open to the public 18-21 September.