Gallery: Hear What Leading Automotive Designers and Architects Had to S...


Hey Inhabitat readers! In case you missed it, we just wrapped up our broadcast of the Design with a Conscience conference in San Francisco, CA! We teamed up with Ford Motor Company and the American Institute for Architects (AIA) San Francisco to deliver you a peek at a thought-provoking event, which brought together visionary California architects and automotive designers eager to talk about the intersection of car and building design and how conscious design can spur innovation in both industries. This year’s star panel included: Allison Williams, principal architect at AW ink; Anne Fougeron, Founder of Fougeron Architecture; Ann Hand, CEO of Project Frog; and Freeman Thomas, Director of Strategic Design at Ford Motor Company. Though the event is over, you can read a few highlights from the panel after the break. We’ll also be posting a video recording of the conference very soon, so check back for it if you missed the live event.

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  1. design2know April 11, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    O.K. what about Designing the Perfect Place to LIVE but MOBILE-On Wheels…Not a Camper, Not an RV but a House or better Yet-HOME on WHEELS…Employ Solar, Bio-Mass Conversion-Fuel Cells, and Wind Power…GREEN! Why Not? bobby vey

  2. inflight April 11, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    What strides have been made in the commercial fleet transportation category? We have a fleet of limousines and have not found offers of new design. We provide private jet charter encompassing jet sharing and deploy all means of eco-concious travel through our flight operations and just an FYI own a High-Performance LED lighting company. Does Ford employ LED’s within their campus/manufacturing?

  3. rwe55 April 11, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Can you speak to car colors today? Does the future look more interesting than greys, silvers and whites?

  4. petropolis April 11, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Can you imagine a time when the future development of buildings and cars will cross?

  5. jetgraphics April 11, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    (Assuming that government subsidies are removed, and meddling ended…)

    In light of population consolidation, and the logical shift to electric traction rail, won’t that decrease the demand and number of automobiles, regardless of their fuel source?

  6. SESITONY April 11, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    http://www.whenyouwish/solar-electric-scooter represents Solar Electric Scooters Inc.
    They have found a perfect fit to accompany all Vehicles with a solution to short range travel.
    The Solar Electric Scooter they invented goes 20 miles on a charge at 15 miles per hour driven by a 350watt rear hub motor. The scooter is street legal in California. The same rules apply to it as a bicycle. The handlebars fold down so it will fit iinto a trunk for Comuters to avoid parking issues. Requires No Gas, No Registration, No Insurance required, NO PROBLEM!
    We see other Auto manufactures adding electric bikes to their line af assesories, how about going all the way and offering a Solar Powered Scooter for your customers short commutes. Then leave the long rides with more than one passenger for your automobiles. Give this away with your Automobile and allow the owners the freedom to have a choice. Why start up the Gas or Hybrid car to go a few blocks or a few miles.

  7. soothsayer April 11, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Why can’t I see or hear anything? Is it suppose to be playing?

  8. solartonyv April 11, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    We have invented a practical Solar Electric Scooter. You stand on the solar panel. we designed the panel with a hunnycomb backing to be engineered to hold a minimum of 350 LBS.
    The Solar Scooter from Goes 20 miles on a 15Ah Li-Ion Battery, the solar panel charges the battery one mile for each full sun hour 1000Wm2 or typically five miles on a average day.,Los Angeles. The Solar Electric Scooter is street legal by all rules in California as it goes 15 MPH and is governed by the same rules as a bicycle. The Solar Scooter is powered by a Hub motor 350 watts allowing for the minimum 20 miles with low current unlike brushed motors or chain driven typical electric scooters.

  9. readesigns April 11, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Hi, my previous trade was in construction where I had been on many different projects in my time. One certain project that relates to this question was a project in South Wales, Great Brittan. It was on a gas plant and we were building the biggest containers in Europe at that time. After erecting the massive circular concrete walls we would put the massive iron welded roof on. To do this we would have to weld it inside the concrete walls and have it lifted by air compression. This roof would weigh nearly a 1000 tons or more.
    My question is, if we could use air compression to lift this roof 10 years ago and maybe more on other projects, why hasn`t this technology be transformed into automobiles yet or is it something that is being looked at.(This dosen`t mean compressing H2O but air).

  10. jetgraphics April 11, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    In a future where the decaying infrastructure is an impediment to high speed and comfort, what options are there?

    To handle crumbling roads, suspensions may have to be changed to accommodate them. The Citroën hydropneumatic suspension or a similar solution may be necessary. [see: ] The suspension is well known for its load handling ability, so additional passengers won’t cause bottoming out. And the ability to raise the clearance may be vital for off-road and rural travel. (Air suspension may work, too.)

    Are hydropneumatic suspensions going to become the wave of the future?

  11. geewhiz April 11, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Why havent you gone to the American way of yesteryear, from Hollywood\\\’s 1930\\\’s and 40\\\’s when Hollywood designed cars of the future that were never built, but only designs on paper. Designs for all ages along with steel bumpers that protects the body that protects the occupants?

  12. makingadreamhome April 11, 2013 at 11:50 am

    How can architecture in car design help encourage more Americans to buy fuel-efficient or electric vehicles?

  13. April 11, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Biomimicry and Biophilia are elements of design. Biophilia connects with the human need for nature and it’s therapuetic qualities. Biomimicry connects the processes of nature with innovation (velcro, photovoltaic panels). How are each of these concepts being addressed in architecture and car design and are there overlapping approaches?

  14. Sally Dominguez April 10, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Many companies – and the Ford labs in particular – are exploring materials for car parts that compost or degrade after a certain amount of time. They are also pioneering high content soy foams and other materials applicable to buildings. What sort of interaction do the researches at Ford and other car labs have with innovators in the building markets? How is their research made available?

  15. Sally Dominguez April 10, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    What implications do the new fuel cell systems and charging systems in cars have for energy generation and use in buildings?

  16. S.Sreekumar April 10, 2013 at 12:31 am

    It is high time that the company manufacture solar flying , diving and on road cars, which can be used with minimum space in land.

  17. photoquest April 9, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    One of the best cars And I miss it so much! with everything that a car should have , Although a little heavy, Sporty and lots of boot space, fun to drive but the name should have been more exiting, Before its time , like Concord, The Ford Probe 2.8 24v I only I could find one or have one here in Borneo. Build a car like that again with all its things in the right place . ad a GPS and an Engine of tomorrow the sound good, And wow , trouble it , then everyone will want one, Most cars to day are not practical, they have no boot space. Those that do are to big, Why do they still make massive 4 wheel drives to import to Borneo, with all the traffic problems. The front of most car are becoming ugly and some look like they are back to front. People want a car that says something about them. Im a photographer, as cuba diver , I also do kendo and love fishing, Often i buy rods to fit in the car, Not what i would like, And get pissed when I have to leave a rod at home, Scuba kit may be wet, . why are cars lacking sun roofs, places to put an i pod or phone, An easy jack . And air con system that operates (C) when the engine is at a stand still and turns off at traffic light, traffic light and GPS should send a signal to the car to turn off when they are longer then a min. Waiting time, I could give so many more Ideas but have done before and seen then with out no credit. What bugs me I get nocked for not having good maths or English. Ideas come from imagination. Now there is a name for a car.

  18. sallyspring April 9, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Outside of this panel, how do you see architects and auto designers coming together to create solutions that draw upon each party’s expertise? Does Ford have a program in place or partnerships with outside designers or architects?

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