Mobility Lab

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Mobility Lab is a co-creation workshop designed to explore how passengers in shared, driverless vehicles might configure flexible interior layouts according to different user scenarios.


André Orta, designer & facilitator
Teng Yu, videographer


Qualitative research, experience design, storytelling, 3D fabrication, copywriting


3 months


Thesis I, MFA Products of Design, School of Visual Arts



In a near future when cars are no longer owned, but shared, no longer driven, but autonomous, and no longer static, but flexible, how might a user’s relationship with a car evolve?

To explore this idea, I designed and facilitated a co-creation workshop that asks: how might flexible vehicle platforms enable new user interactions?


How it works

Over the course of 1 hour, participants are given a series of hypothetical scenarios. They are then supplied with a custom whiteboard and a series of parameters with which to configure a shared autonomous vehicle. Along the way, the facilitator might add constraints called “added factors”.

Afterward, participants are asked to identify the values behind their designs (like safety, comfort, etc.), and share with the group.

This workshop is designed to explore edge cases: discovering what users value most in extreme situations in order to understand how those values translate to vehicle design.


Scenarios & Standout Features




After the workshop, we discovered insights like: autonomous vehicles remove a sense of control and engender stress in high-stakes situations, cars are an extension of one’s personal space, and are often treated like private areas, and that removing the gas of driving turns journeys into a blank canvas for new experiences altogether.


Common Design Motifs

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Key Insights

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Next Steps

My early research points to passenger density being a key metric for improving vehicle utilization and reducing symptoms like traffic, pollution, and overbuilt roadways. For that reason, if I were to iterate a new version of MobilityLab, I would like to retool the workshop to focus on ride sharing.

Specifically, I would like to ask: “Under what conditions might a user be incentivized to pool in a vehicle with strangers, and how might we create a ride pooling experience preferable over a lone driver in their own vehicle?”