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Robin Wöhr

Bachelor Thesis, Industrial Design, SS 2020

SpielRaum - Does autonomous driving enable us to create a new playful and collective space for mobility?


Autonomous driving [r]evolutionizes our current mobility system. But what is the social value of this technology? The paper shows ways in which play, as an amplitude of social encounter, can transform cities from car-centric back to people-centric. The concept of mobile spaces culminates in a collaborative and playful approach that meets the space needs of the city and its inhabitants.


The "Personal Square" project, by Studio 212 Fahrenheit, was created in the wake of the Corona Crisis spacing regulations and illustrates the maximum spacing that Dutch citizens could maintain if the space were distributed equally among everyone. There would then be approximately 2400 square meters available per person (yellow square). The work initiates the debate of land distribution in cities, which is a big issue especially now in the Corona period. It is not only the cities that are beginning to think about redistribution of space.

Benedetto Bufalino's installation "The Wooden Deck of Cars" presents a critical examination of the car and its environment. The artist is known for including motorized private transport (MIV) in the installations and working for and with the residents in his projects. What is the social added value of the car for the residents? And can't this space be used more sensibly and effectively?


If you look at the average idle time of a car, of more than 23 hours a day, it is relatively quickly apparent how ineffectively we use the means of transport. Each car occupies an average area of 10 square meters, which is very precious in the city.

From the perspective of cities, they want to offer more living space for people in the city in the future in order to remain attractive. However, this is only possible if there is a redistribution of space and traffic is not primarily designed for MIV.


One of the best-known examples are the car-free superblocks in Barcelona. The open and flexibly usable open spaces can be used as a drop-on and drop-off zone during rush hour, as an extended gastronomy area during the lunch break or as a meeting point, market or leisure area after work.


If you compare the average parking area of a car of 10 sqm with the average play area per inhabitant of 0.6 sqm, you can see how unbalanced the ratio is.

A trend toward community can also be derived from the topic of play. In recent years, game forms have developed to play more together than against each other. For example, in exit games or in escape rooms, where you usually play in a group or team against the actual game itself.


Mercedes has an app, Mercedes Me, in which the customer configures his personal vehicle according to his individual interests and can take these from Mercedes to Mercedes.

The goal of my concept is: to move from this ME, which is tailored to the individual person, to a collective WE, in order to add a shared product to the Mercedes-Benz world.

The whole thing runs under the slogan: We're taking back the city's spaces! With flexible, temporary and expandable spaces that come directly to the users.


The game can be played both in a private circle of friends, in a cozy and relaxed atmosphere, and in a public setting, where the SpielRaum becomes a meeting place and a meeting point for different generations.

The SpielRaum is designed in the principle of a modular construction kit. The autonomous transport platform is equipped with various storage, wall and seating modules, as well as movable furniture. The provider loads the room before the game night according to the interest of the target group, the game type and the number of players.


The seating concept can be divided into three zones: Play, Store and Relax. The chairs can be rotated 360° by means of a recirculating rail system. This allows for a variety of seating formations. In the Duel/Team formation, for example, Charades or Taboo can be played excellently. In the board game formation, each player has a little more room to himself and the game table is added. The sofa formation is e.g. very suitable for a round of Fifa. In the lounge mode the breaks in between can be arranged in a communicative way.

The SpielRaum of the Mercedes We concept mobilizes the social life of people in the city. And gives them back a piece of freedom!

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