Named the 2014 World Design Capital last month, the [Cape Town] city government is encouraging a cluster of design and creative firms in a neighborhood called the Fringe. The 2010 World Cup of soccer was a boon for infrastructure, especially public transportation. A new bus system, with dedicated lanes, has been rolled out in recent years to keep the many suburbs connected and alleviate crushing traffic.
The basic problem many of us face each day—how to get from Point A to Point B in the least amount of time with the least amount of trouble—has inspired many to dream of marvelous ways to solve that problem.
A trove of images and information about those marvelous dreams has been assembled as part of an installation at the University of California, Berkeley.
What are the defining elements of “transportation futuristics?” When selecting concepts like the flying saucer bus (1950) pictured above, the exhibit creators considered questions such as:
Is the idea radical?
Has it failed to reach commercial success, due to technical or economic shortcomings, because the designers were ahead of their time, or because infrastructure never anticipated such a development?
Despite failure, has the idea influenced the design of equipment, facilities, or operations?
Why did the idea fail, and what lessons can we learn from that failure?