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SOM Thinkers: The Future of Transportation

With the promise of autonomous vehicles, delivery drones, personal helicopters, and groceries delivered right to your refrigerator, one might think we are living in the best of transportation times. However, most city commuters would be quick to inform you otherwise.

Of all the technological interventions continuously inserted into our daily trips, which ones will last? Is ride-sharing here to stay? In ten years will we all be taking autonomous vehicles to work? Will traffic as we know it cease to exist? While this volume makes no promises, it does take a step back from the hype of the new to explore more of the options from what might seem like yesterday’s solutions: buses, bikes, and even trains. Perhaps remedies to our transportation woes are not all in the future but are hiding in plain and present sight. As Henry Grabar, this volume’s editor states in his introduction, “The future of transportation is not about inventions. It’s about choices.”

The Future of Transportation is the third volume in the SOM Thinkers series, conceived by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. SOM Thinkers originated from a desire to start a public conversation about the built environment. Rather than frame the subject in the expected "professional" language, the series poses today's most pressing questions about design and architecture in a bold and accessible way.

This volume features work by Henry Grabar, Oliver Franklin-Wallis, Laura Bliss, Darran Anderson, Nick Van Mead, Atossa Araxia Abrahamian, Alison Griswold, and Christopher Schaberg, with artwork by Olalekan Jeyifous.