Meet Geoff Wardle, a mobilizer of transportation revolutions, and the first addition to our Advisory Panel.
Geoff Wardle is Director of Advanced Mobility Research at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. Wardle is also part of the managing team that has been planning and delivering Art Center’s “Designing Sustainable Mobility” series of summits (www.artcenter.edu/summit), the first of which was held in February 2007.
With a bachelor’s degree in mechanical and vehicle engineering from the University of Hertfordshire (UK) and a master’s degree in automotive design from the Royal College of Art in London, Wardle has had extensive experience as a professional vehicle designer across four continents. Although he remains interested in the culture of cars, Wardle’s career as a designer in the automotive industry caused him to become increasingly concerned about the future sustainability of personal mobility and transportation in general.
With more than a decade of full-time involvement with Art Center’s Transportation Design department in California and in Europe, Wardle has continually advocated for transportation designers to become far more concerned and involved with the many other disciplines that make up mobility in its entirety, particularly in the urban environment.
His deeply held interests focus on the role that designers can play in helping developed and developing economies transition gracefully from an unsustainable level of consumerism, to compelling, ecologically and economically sustainable economies that focus on a high quality of individual experience, comfort and reward. Within this broad horizon, he is committed to leading opinion and expertise on the future of mobility and transportation and to serving as a valuable resource for industry or government. He sees that the approaches to innovation, creativity and research that designers use are highly effective for other disciplines and activities.
As Director of Advanced Mobility Research at Art Center College of Design, Wardle lectures and leads investigations into all kinds of transportation in conjunction with students and faculty. Research projects focus on balancing the needs and expectations of transportation consumers with valid business and technology parameters through systems thinking and awareness. Research projects have included the future of urban bus travel (Santa Monica Big Blue Bus Company), new categories of personal commuting vehicles, personal rapid transit (PRT) systems and holistic approaches to urban development and integrated transportation systems.
Aside from his role as a researcher and educator, Geoff Wardle works with select vehicle companies (including ours) as an external advisor on futurist and design strategies. In December 2008, he testified on the future of the automotive industry before the Congressional Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, chaired by Rep. Edward J. Markey. Wardle has been called as an expert witness on design-related patent infringement cases and served on the board of advisors for the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE. Wardle is frequently invited to speak at conferences and symposiums related to the future of transportation and the automotive industry. He has also spoken about these topics on National Public Radio.
Read more on this fantastic man (my mentor throughout my Art Center career) on the following links:
A website about his current initiative to mobilize America’s transportation revolution- www.ongoingtransportation.com
An insightful interview about his vision of future mobility-