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About – Experiments In Motion

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What is the Experiments in motion project about?

Experiments in Motion is a research initiative conducted by the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation in partnership with Audi of America to develop and test new paradigms in the relationship between motion, mobility and design. The program will draw from global thought leaders from around the university, architecture and design professionals, and an expanded network of urban mobility experts from New York City and Audi. Part of the Audi Urban Future Initiative, the program is curated by Therrien Barley.

As part of the Audi Urban Future Research, Experiments in Motion represents the U.S. pilot of a series of locally driven, interdisciplinary research and student programs with the world's leading institutions and schools, tapping into the vast potential of academic intelligence and emerging talent.

"As urban environments continue to evolve, transportation needs to evolve in parallel. Audi aims to not only engage the discussion, but to actively contribute to the knowledge and insights of our global experts," says Johan de Nysschen, president of Audi of America. "We look forward working very closely with Columbia University, one of the most prestigious and visionary institutions in the country, on this important project and topic." "The history of cities is unthinkable without considering the emergence and development of new forms of mobility," says Mark Wigley, Dean of GSAPP.

About Mark And Scott
Scott Keogh and Mark Wigly at Experiments in Motion Launch
© David X. Prutting/

"Experiments in Motion is the beginning of a new dialogue on mobility and represents a radical new way of collaboration between a corporation and a research institution. We are thrilled to partner with Mark Wigley and GSAPP, one of the most visionary schools of thought globally," said Scott Keogh, chief marketing officer, Audi of America

Our understandings of mobility must be caught up to the speed of the today's cities. Paradigms in Motion will investigate new understandings of motion and mobility through a three month think tank consisting of interdisciplinary thought leaders from Columbia University, architecture and design professionals from New York City, and experts from Audi's internal and external networks. Their findings will be released in the spring of 2012 and will provide hypotheses that will inform the architecture designed in the second experiment.

New paradigms of mobility in the city require new kinds of architects. Design in Motion will build on the think tanks' hypotheses by assembling three teams of graduate students and professors at GSAPP who will envision architectural designs that will create new relationships between New York City and the citizens moving through it. Half way through the semester, the students will test their design proposals by traveling to three of the fastest growing cities in the world. Design in Motion will be documented through a custom digital interface that will allow the students to communicate with each other and the public throughout the design process. The final designs will be presented in May of 2012 and will become the starting point for the third experiment.

No vision of the city can be realized without public support. Participation in Motion will be a public interface for the collected intelligence of the previous experiments and will open the documents, designs, and theories of the project to public discussion. In partnership with the New Museum and Columbia's Studio-X event and studio space in downtown New York City, the program will be open to the public through a series of events and formats.

The city of the future demands a new type of automotive manufacturer, a new type of architect, and new type of citizen. Experiments in Motion connects the disruptive potential of the university with Audi in order to change the way the corporation not only operates but thinks. Likewise, Experiments in Motion aligns with GSAPP and its commitment to provide the conditions for a new type of architect to emerge. This conversation between the corporation, the university and the public will generate new forms of public participation to motivate new types of citizenship.

About Chris And Troy
Troy Conrad Therrien and Christopher Barley at Experiments in Motion Launch
© David X. Prutting/

"As a project that is directly concerned with innovations – new paradigms of motion, new methods of teaching, new forms of participation – it is crucial to have two partner institutions willing to work together in new ways," say Christopher Barley and Troy Conrad Therrien of design practice Thierren Barley, responsible for the curatorial concept of Experiments in Motion. "Although the project is still fresh, Audi and Columbia have already begun to pose novel questions through their continuing partnership."

Experiments in Motion is curated by Therrien Barley, an emerging design and curatorial practice in New York, in partnership with Audi of America, following their involvement in Audi Urban Future Project: New York in May 2011

Columbia University GSAPP

The Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) at Columbia University offers graduate degree programs in architecture, historic preservation, urban planning, urban design, real estate development and critical, curatorial and conceptual practices. Its unique mission is to move beyond the highest level of professional training to open a creative space within which the disciplines can rethink themselves, a space of speculation and experimentation that allows the field to evolve to meet new challenges

Audi Urban Future Initiative

In an effort to actively shape the transition to a new mobility epoch, the Audi Urban Future Initiative aims to establish a dialog on the synergy of mobility, architecture and urban development by means of the view into the future. Rooted in the belief that the current challenges of mobility can only be solved collectively and interdisciplinary, it represents an essential part of the brand's commitment to urban mobility as a whole and is designed to change both thought patterns and corporate culture.