Mobility design, which includes not only cars and motorcycles, but also public transportation such as railways, buses, and taxis, is deeply involved in our lives. The design behind that mobility as well exerts great influence as a portion of living environments, city spaces, and townscapes. Mobility design emerges from the complex entanglement of such factors as social situations and technical innovation, the considerations and thoughts of developers, and the lifestyles and needs of users. It is a mirror that reflects the era, and it moves beyond the simple category of "vehicles" to reveal various things. While tracing the lineage of mobility design from the perspective of each discipline, I will also unravel the direction in which Japanese mobility design is heading in terms of its prospects and possibilities.
Between before and after World War II, the automobile design evolved primarily in a way that stimulated the customer's palatability. However, since the 1970s, dealing with such social trends as the global environment, traffic accidents, and urbanization has been emphasized, and its importance is increasing every year. In recent years, there have been some new entrants that come from other industries. In this article, I will propose a future direction on car designs that are well suited to our contemporary society where urbanization advances, while looking at recent movements such as vehicle electrification, autonomous cars, and sharing economy.
Motorcycles are unique vehicles that are complete only when a rider is sitting on it and they are moving together. The human-machine interface engages all five senses, which produces an emotional connection between man and machine. Function is important to the design of motorcycles but emotion is also a key part of their design, which makes it a very different design from automobiles. Motorcycle design has a 135 year history and is on the verge of a big turning point; intelligent technologies will soon become part of the motorcycle. This has the possibility of creating a new relationship between humans and mobility, and altering the motorcycle’s original character as incomplete, irrational and ambiguous.
It is the duty of railways to be comfortable, easy to understand and a freely accessible to all, while also being a brand that local people can be proud of. Branding of the entire network is one way to achieve this goal, and in particular rolling stock design is an essential part of branding. Focusing on the role of rolling stock design in regional branding, we typified branding patterns by studying the history of such branding and looking at actual examples. As a result, we found that branding and total design are crucial for future rolling stock design, and that it is desirable for railway companies to create structures for the operation and maintenance of branding to achieve these goals.
This paper provides a general overview of trends in spatial de sign and activity design derived from practical applications and research results regarding the shift towards slow transportation in urban roads, and extracts discussion points on the future of regional community formation. Activity design requires connections to community design from a wide range of channels, such as the coordination of knowledge of area management whose principle objectives are community formation or the expansion of knowledge into efforts that venture directly into community design. Spatial design, on the other hand, requires the construction of a spatial design theory for "slow transportation".
Hitachi aims to contribute to Society 5.0 through its infrastructure businesses. In order to achieve this, Hitachi's designers have been widening the scope of their design activities from products to systems and services. The designers are now going as far as looking at various social challenges when designing future visions. With what the designers call "vision design," Hitachi is promoting the co-creation of social innovation businesses with stakeholders while aiming to contribute to Society 5.0. This paper explains what Hitachi's designers have accomplished and what they are currently striving to do, in terms of the concept design for urban mobility projects.