Industrial Design and New Mobility System

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Paris (2011)


Monique Vervaeke
Centre Maurice Halwachs-CNRS-ENS
48 Boulevard Jourdan 75014 Paris

Industrial Design and New Mobility System

V. Papanek stated in publishing, Design for the Real Word (1971), that industrial designers have a part of the responsibility for pollution. According to E. Manzini, the deterioration of environmental equilibrium and limited natural resources require that the “industrial culture” should change and should conceive an ecology for an artificial world which consists in designing products with attention of details concerning their total life cycle from conception to replacement, according to human uses and respect for the environment (Manzini, 1990).
The industrial designers have engaged in a theoretical debate criticizing industrialisation that does not take into account environment impact. The first part of this paper deals with some of the characteristic ideas surrounding the issue of eco-design and design thinking as debated and experimented by industrial designers (Papanek, 1972; Manzini, 1986; Manzini, Vezzoli, 1998, 2007; Lotti, 1998; Brown, Kats, 2009).
The second part examines the place of industrial designers in the policy of carmakers: reformulation of transportation from the perspective of “product/service”, aesthetic research on the properties of lighter materials, new digital techniques contributing to reduce the number of prototypes, symbolic aspects of the construction of new markets.
The third part presents 3 cases studies : Induct project Cybergo with Dièdre Design, Bolloré-Pininfarina, the blue car and “auto lib in Paris”, Lohr and the Cristal’s project. This part emphasizes that the issue of eco-design, elaborated from a critical theory of mass production, needs to be tied to the researches on multi-mobility and the new partnerships between firms and public policies.

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