The sharing economy, an economic system that involves individuals renting out or sharing their personal property including their homes and cars, has been severely impacted as the wave of COVID-19 ebbs and flows across the world. Popular companies like Uber, Airbnb, bike shares, and a variety of coworking spaces that we are so accustomed to being essential parts of our lives, have been making adjustments and creating new strategies to ensure that their customers feel safe and reimagine how they might adapt to an uncertain road ahead.
Uber: The Latest Architecture and News
Between advances in autonomous technology and urban population growth, transit is being reimagined on the street and in the air. From public transit transforming to more user-centric mobility services, to rethinking regulatory and organizational status quos, advances in technology are expanding transit opportunities in cities around the world.
For technology companies, image is everything. Whether it be the latest iPhone, the newest Slack interface, or the latest Uber app update, these multimillion-dollar giants strive daily to keep the user engaged, and to keep their image young, current, and cutting edge. Invariably, this need to be noticed transcends the digital screen, and manifests in the architecture of the offices where this innovation takes place.
Across the world, from Dublin to Tel Aviv to Tokyo, the workspaces of the world's largest tech companies are redefining how offices are designed, aided by leading architects such as Foster + Partners, Snøhetta, and Gehry Partners. While our recent article on solutions for flexible home offices reflects on strategic functionality and individual expression, the 30 workspaces below dedicate themselves to collaboration and inspiration through a play on scales, color, shapes, and unexpected fixtures.
Uber Elevate and Related Companies have unveiled their Foster + Partners-designed vision for a future Skyport in Santa Clara. The 240-acre site illustrates the benefits aerial ridesharing could provide for the Bay Area and other cities in the future.
Uber has unveiled images of its vision for the future of its revolutionary ride-sharing business. “Uber Elevate” seeks to herald in a new era of “urban aerial ridesharing” beginning in 2023 with customers able to hail a flight on-demand.
As reported by The Verge, this future vision has seen Uber hold a competition inviting architecture firms to speculate on the “Uber Air Skyports” of tomorrow. The Skyports comprise a system of launchpads and landing sites throughout the urban landscape hosting a futuristic “flying taxi” service. At the company’s second annual Elevate conference in Los Angeles in May 2018, Uber revealed the winning designs from six firms, capable of transporting more than 4000 passengers per hour.
Since the concept of driverless cars first became a serious prospect, a lot of attention has been given to the possibility of their malfunction—if an autonomous vehicle damages property or even harms a human, who is at fault? And, given a worst-case scenario, how should a vehicle's software choose between whose lives it prioritizes, the passenger or the pedestrian? This last question even became the basis for the Moral Machine, an online platform created by the MIT Media Lab that essentially crowdsources public opinion on different variations of the classic trolley problem thought experiment.
However, all of these questions had been considered largely theoretical until last night when, as The New York Times reports, a woman was struck and killed by an autonomous vehicle in Tempe, Arizona. As a major component of many predictions of futuristic "smart cities," the development and testing of autonomous vehicles hold huge implications for urbanism (ArchDaily has previously covered predictions of major change by car manufacturers and researchers) meaning that this fatal event could have a ripple effect on the development of cities.
Despite being heralded as services that will reduce congestion on our streets, ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft actually are making traffic problems worse, a new study from Boston’s Northeastern University has revealed.
A Different Kind of Sharing Economy: How the REAL Foundation is Building Social Equity Into the Nuts and Bolts of Architecture
The Chicago Architecture Biennial is the largest platform for contemporary architecture in North America, and the blog invites designers and other contributors to express their perspectives in a range of formats. The 2017 exhibition, entitled Make New History, will be free and open to the public between September 16, 2017 and January 6, 2018.
Chicago Architecture Biennial (CAB): We want to start by noting that REAL foundation, which stands for "Real Estate Architecture Laboratory," is not a typical design practice. You design spaces, but you also make books, exhibitions, a magazine, and tools for advocacy. Why?
Jack Self (JS): The REAL foundation is an unusual model for an architectural firm. We're a normal architectural practice, but we are governed by a very strict set of conditions that allow us to pursue certain political and economic ideologies. We see the social role of the architect, as well as the structure of the architectural firm, as a subject for design as much as buildings.
SHoP Architects and Studio O+A have unveiled designs for a new Uber headquarters in San Francisco. Planned to rise on a 14-acre vacant site in the city's Mission Bay neighborhood, the 423,000 square-foot scheme will consist of two towers: an 11‐story tower at 1455 Third Street and a 6‐story structure at 1515 Third Street.