J. MAYER H. Wins Audi Urban Future Award 2010

Press Release:
Concept Statement – J. MAYER H. – A.WAY
Welcome to Pokeville! Be aware that you might only access with a blue sticker on your car or, just jump into one of our free auto-mobiles and lean back, enjoy the ride, only see what you want to see according to your profile, mood and status. This is your own personal city and let us take you on a tour of how it all began:

Once upon a time, around 1985, the world discovered the ozone hole and it changed the way we think about our future. From then on, consumption, production and mobility were at stake. With the introduction of digital technologies in the early 21st century and electricity being the main source for energy supply our cities grew free of pollution and congestion; green, clean, quiet and efficient.

Visions of the future had always been a place of speculation for mobility. The 20th century proposed playful and even sometimes naive visions of flying cars and underwater urban settings. Novel ways of flying around galaxies, excursing to the centre of the earth, diving into submarine worlds, travelling through time, jumping through universes, tele-transporting, injecting and voyaging through the blood stream of a human body did populate our visions of the future. Maybe in the long-term, we might experience these magical modes of transportation. Yet, the short-term future arrived invisible first.

Individual mobility then became strongly linked to the developments of digitally augmented urban spaces, automated driving and personalized data exchange between the human body and its environment. Traffic since then is a constant flow. No more need for parked vehicles. Pedestrian areas regained their lost space from cars. Repercussions had been seen on a social, economic and ecological level. Surveillance and assisting technologies transformed the city and its inhabitants into a flow of data, blurring the boundaries between body, car and architecture.

New forms of perception and performance arose from digital technologies. They allowed for each one of us to selectively allow or reject individual aspects of the city. The car transformed from being a viewing machine for manoeuvring in traffic towards a sensorial experience machine. Driving through the city now puts our senses and sensibilities into the foreground and allows us to interact with the urban context in completely new ways. We interact, we poke along temporary bonds and adjacencies, we float through the city and its auto-mobiles turned into social media. This instant personalization caters to your interest. You are on the move. You are here and away.

And there is always the probability of a collapse of all systems that might come as a surprise, that keeps us going, forces us to improvise, invent and move ahead. If at that point cities have proved once more to be flexible, adjustable, able to transform and survive, then we will live under a protecting ozone layer again, happily ever after, in Pokeville, a new place for individual and communal negotiations and exchange – and why not poke back? 

Concept : J. MAYER H.
Text : Jürgen Mayer H., Paul Angelier
Images : Jürgen Mayer H., Paul Angelier, Mehrdad Mashaie, Vanessa Enriquez, Thomas Gillioz
Animation : Paul Angelier, Thomas Gillioz
Sound : Paul Angelier
Graphic Design : Vanessa Enriquez

For further information please visit the Audi Urban Future Award website at http://www.audiurbanfutureaward.com/