AMO, the think tank co-founded by Rem Koolhaas and led by Samir Bantal, is delighted to announce a research partnership with Volkswagen that aligns their shared interest in the countryside, with a focus on rural mobility. As a first project of this partnership, Peter Wouda, Design Director of Volkswagen’s Innovation Center Europe, and Volkswagen engineer Holger Lange have created a study for an electric tractor, developed in and for sub-Saharan Africa to facilitate small-scale agriculture and increase the productivity of subsistence farmers.
The project, currently in its conceptual stage, is on display at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York as part of the “Countryside, The Future” exhibition by AMO/Rem Koolhaas, on view now until August 14, 2020. The next step in the development of the tractor will be the setting up of partnerships with many local collaborators, universities and stakeholders to gain knowledge on technical aspects of the sharing system and its implementation in local contexts.
Joint research on Eastern Saxony will be shown as part of the Rural Mobility Symposium in 2020 in Dresden, Germany. Through this research, AMO and Volkswagen speculate on how different mobility concepts can help face the region’s challenges of a rapidly aging population and an overall decrease in population numbers. The collaboration was initiated by Volkswagen’s cultural engagement team of Benita von Maltzahn and Esra Aydin, and Rem Koolhaas and Samir Bantal of AMO. From Volkswagen, Holger Lange led the development of the e-tractor, which was designed by Peter Wouda.
Benita von Maltzahn, Director of Cultural Engagement for VW: “The e-tractor project is a great example how we can link creativity and technology. And it shows what it needs when we understand mobility is a social right. Volkswagen is committed to develop sustainable mobility concepts for generations to come and for establishing new levels of equality. Responding to the radical changes in the countryside is one vital step on that way.”
Samir Bantal, Director of AMO: “Volkswagen’s interest in the countryside has triggered a new research collaboration that will spawn several projects through cross-pollinations between architecture, which is traditionally about stability, and Volkswagens expertise on mobility. We are excited to dive deeper into the issues of rural mobility together with Volkswagen’s experts.”
Peter Wouda, Design Director of VW Innovation Center Europe: “Normally as designers we focus more on brand identity, proportion and aesthetics, but the e-tractor project was about designing a meaningful and holistic system, which if done right, has the potential to bring people together and support a community. The beauty of the design will be in its simplicity and in the joy of using it.” Source and images Courtesy of AMO.