General Bus Vision: impermanence and interaction

Design which doesn’t age


What do we usually see when we look at a bus? A huge and heavyweight vehicle? A necessary way of transport? Either way, it is hardly an integral part of the fast-changing impermanent city. Any design or aesthetic decision ages fast and buses become unattractive and old-fashioned before we get a possibility to renew them. Even the most modern bus shortly becomes a visual pollution which is justifiable only from the pragmatic point of view. Judging from the inside it is only an unavoidable vehicle to get from one spot to another. We take a bus only because we have to, not because we want to. Naturally, no one likes to spend time in an enclosed and unattractive space. Such time is an empty time, wasted on waiting for the right stop.

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But what if we had the courage to contemplate broader and further than what we see in front of us? What if a bus was not un unavoidable necessity and comfortless mode of transport, but an attractive place of communication? What if there was a live contact between the inside and the outside, between the bus and the city? It is possible, if we open up a whole new dimension in thinking about public transport. We have to see it as both impermanent and interactive.

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[photo by Marius Ščerbinskas –]

To achieve that a bus design must be in constant movement; a bus must have no fixed design at all. It is possible, if we combine transparancy, semi-transparancy and reflectivity. Transparent parts of the bus body don‘t block the city view. Semi-transparent parts allow to integrate dynamic visual projections of any kind. Reflective parts give the possibility to reflect the city itself and readjust design according to city area surroundings.

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[photo by Eglė Ščerbinskaitė –]

The relationship between the passengers and the bus notably changes. Exploitation of various possibilities of interaction becomes almost absolutely limitless. Public transport turns into a possible platform for various kinds of communication, performance and advertisement. Notably, such design is not a finite product in a strict sense. It is a constant potentiality of improvisation which is open to future demands and possibilities. Consequently, a bus becomes an interactive and integral part of the city. It becomes a Dancer.

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[photo by Eglė Ščerbinskaitė –]