MoMA EXAMINES THE FUTURE OF THE AUTOMOBILE AND ITS IMPACT ON SOCIETY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

EXHIBITION
Different Roads: Automobiles for the Next Century

DATES
July 22-September 21, 1999

ORGANIZATION
Organized by Christopher Mount, Assistant Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, with Phil Patton, curatorial consultant.

CONTENT
Different Roads: Automobiles for the Next Century is a forward-looking examination of automobile design and its impact on society. A new generation of cars, either in production or about to be, confronts the major social, economic, and environmental conditions facing the consumer and the automotive industry. Eight contemporary models from major international manufacturers, including the Fiat Multipla, Ford Ka, General Motors EV1,Rover Mini, Smart, Honda VV insight and Toyota Prius will be displayed in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden. These automobiles, intended for the middle-class consumer, are the successors to such iconic vehicles as Ford's Model T and the original Volkswagen Beetle. Their highly innovative designs demonstrate that, in addition to responding to the greater needs of society, the simple, affordable car no longer lacks for style, performance, or comfort.



In recent years, especially in developing nations, automobile use has risen dramatically, with transportation now consuming 20% of the world's total energy. The environmental problems of urban congestion and pollution from rising fuel emissions, the reality of finite petroleum reserves, and the high cost of gasoline outside the United States are all factors in the search for alternative fuels and engines. In developing nations, economy, fuel, and space efficiency are paramount concerns for new car buyers. All of these factors, augmented by recent calls for stricter emissions standards in the United States and tax and regulatory laws in other parts of the world,have sparked new thinking throughout the automobile industry.



The exhibition will examine the fruits of the new, socially conscious ideas and designs: new power plants and fuels, such as electric and hybrid engines; structures such as the space-frame, that allow for a safer, more fuel-efficient car; the use of innovative materials such as composites, plastics, and aluminum, which afford lightness and ease of manufacturing; and new forms of styling

Different Roads is the first automobile exhibition to be held in the Sculpture Garden since the landmark exhibition Ten Automobiles, in 1952. An interior gallery space will display explanatory text and computer terminals, with access to the extensive Web site created for the exhibition. This will allow the public a greater understanding of the complex technology behind the design of these automobiles.

Photos by Emma McGregor-Lowndes of Green Map System, New York City.
emmamcgregor75@hotmail.com


A PARTIAL LIST OF MODELS
Fiat Multipla
Ford Ka
General Motors EV1
Rover Mini
Toyota Prius
Honda VV Insight
Smart

SYMPOSIUM
A symposium titled "What is the Future of the Automobile?" will be held in mid-September, with panelists comprised of automotive designers, engineers, executives, historians, and sociologists, who will discuss what issues must be addressed in the use, production, and design of the automobile in the coming century.

PRESS CARS
Selected models will be made available to the press for test drives.

1999 The Museum of Modern Art, New York

PS The current issues of Esquire magazine and the architectural publication
Metropolis have articles about this exhibit with photos, on news stands now.