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An autonomous and sustainable car designed by the University, on display at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

It is part of the sample celebrating the artistic dimension of the automobile organized by the Museum, together with the Norman Foster Foundation.


12 | 04 | 2022

Students and professors from the Schools of Engineering (Tecnun ) and Architecture of the University of Navarra are participating with a sustainable mobility proposal in the exhibition Motion, Cars, Art, Architectureorganized by the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao on the occasion of its 25th Anniversary together with the Norman Foster Foundation. This sample is dedicated to the history of the automobile and its relationship with art and architecture.

The project is exhibited in the exhibition dedicated to the future of mobility, together with proposals from other Spanish universities and 12 international universities, selected expressly by the Norman Foster Foundation for this exhibition.

Specifically, School of Architecture and Tecnun have been working on a shared, autonomous and sustainable mobility ecosystem for the rural environment. 

The project starts from the thesis that 80% of the population lives in the urban area , highlighting the depopulation of rural areas. "The population of these areas find it difficult to get around if they do not have a private vehicle. In addition, part of that 20% is represented by elderly people who are unable to drive," explains Paz Morer, professor and lecturer at Tecnun. "When we talk about the future, we think of the city, because the modern city has been built around infrastructure, giving priority to the automobile and less to pedestrians and the quality of urban space," adds Javier Antón, professor at School of Architecture and head of exhibitions.

"We conducted interviews with the inhabitants of Orexa, Baliarrain and Aduna, three villages in the Basque Country, and detected several common needs," says Alaya Galán, a graduate of Mechanical Engineering and design Industrial Engineering. "The project tries to provide a solution to a generally aging population that is located in isolated places. They have few opportunities for mobility, and need to invest a lot of time in commuting," she adds. 

In the research developed, several infrastructures are proposed through the use of technologies such as Big Data or Machine Learning that facilitate communication, the implementation of vehicles powered by clean energies that reduce emissions and the evolution of a shared service eliminating the culture of vehicle ownership. "It is a proposal that focuses on the person, and is committed to sustainability, both materially and socially," adds Paz Morer.

A car shaped like an amoeba

Part of project consisted of presenting this mobility proposal in an exhibition context, and designing the visitor experience in the museum itself. Specifically, a full-scale model of a vehicle in the shape of an amoeba has been created. The proposal can be seen at exhibition and is made up of more than 100 pieces, measuring 3.75 meters long, 3 meters wide and 2.50 meters high. Weighing about 1,400 kg, it is made of high-strength phenolic sheets. It is composed of ribs and gills that go from one end to the other. These ribs are joined together with wooden discs glued with high performance sica. In addition, a 2.5 x 8 meter infographic summarizing the research project has been installed.

Javier Antón points out that "our intervention in the conference room is reinforced from the curatorial point of view with the experiential part that involves the visitor being able to sit in our amoeba of the future. The goal is to imagine how it would be to travel in this transport subject in the distant future, while knowing in detail the research arranged in the infographic.

The project has counted with the collaboration of companies such as ParklexProdema, Ceit, Ecomagnet, Antolin, SQA drones and the University Museum of Navarra. 

Photo: Courtesy

Interdisciplinary learning in a real project

In this project have participated students of the Degrees of Mechanical Engineering, of Engineering of design Industrial of Tecnun and of the Degrees in Architecture and of design of the School of Architecture. Both have applied the knowledge they have developed in the career. "During the course we have seen the different methodologies that you have to carry out to carry out a research phase. I thought it was a good opportunity to get involved in the project to apply this knowledge in a realproject ", explains Alaya Galán, a graduate of the University.

For her part, Leyre Fernández, a student of design of the accredited specialization Services, says that "I have learned a lot from the art world about museum management, the agents involved in the exhibition, all the staff involved and how to work to intervene as discreetly as possible and the management of the teamwork". Her colleague from Degree in Architecture , Leire Gómez, emphasizes that "it has been a good opportunity because we have learned that the interdisciplinary union between two careers generates better results".

See the website with the details of project.

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