AMO and volkswagen conceptualize electric tractor for sub-saharan africa
 

AMO and volkswagen conceptualize electric tractor for sub-saharan africa

AMO, the think tank co-founded by rem koolhaas and led by samir bantal, has joined forces with german automaker volkswagen (VW) to explore the future of rural mobility. as a first project of this partnership, peter wouda, design director of volkswagen’s innovation center europe, and volkswagen engineer holger lange have created a study for an electric tractor. developed in and for sub-saharan africa to facilitate small-scale agriculture and increase the productivity of subsistence farmers, the concept is on display at the guggenheim museum in new york as part of its ‘countryside, the future’ exhibition.

amo volkswagen electric tractor
image by philipp gladsome (also main image), all images courtesy of volkswagen

 

 

volkswagen says that the suggested e-tractor would not be sold to individuals, but leased by communes and shared among villagers and smallholder-farmers — helping to enable individuals who can’t afford to buy their own equipment. the design of the electric tractor ecosystem taps into the extremely high solar radiation present: the tractor comes with a network of solar charging stations and is designed to be fully electric.

amo volkswagen electric tractor
image by philipp gladsome

 

 

AMO adds that the next step in the tractor’s development will be the setting up of partnerships with many local collaborators, universities, and stakeholders to gain knowledge on technical aspects of the sharing system and its implementation in local contexts. joint research on eastern saxony will be shown as part of the rural mobility symposium in 2020 in dresden, germany. through this research, AMO and VW will speculate on how different mobility concepts can help combat the region’s challenges of a rapidly aging population and an overall decrease in population numbers.

amo volkswagen electric tractor
image by philipp gladsome

 

 

‘volkswagen’s interest in the countryside has triggered a new research collaboration that will spawn several projects through cross-pollinations between architecture, which is traditionally about stability, and volkswagen’s expertise on mobility,’ explains samir bantal, director of AMO. ‘we are excited to dive deeper into the issues of rural mobility together with volkswagen’s experts.’

amo volkswagen electric tractor

 

 

‘the e-tractor project is a great example how we can link creativity and technology and it shows what it needs when we understand mobility is a social right,’ adds benita von maltzahn, director of cultural engagement for VW. ‘volkswagen is committed to develop sustainable mobility concepts for generations to come and for establishing new levels of equality. responding to the radical changes in the countryside is one vital step on that way.’

AMO and volkswagen conceptualize electric tractor for sub-saharan africa

 

 

‘normally as designers we focus more on brand identity, proportion and aesthetics, but the e-tractor project was about designing a meaningful and holistic system, which if done right, has the potential to bring people together and support a community,’ adds peter wouda, design director of VW innovation center europe. ‘the beauty of the design will be in its simplicity and in the joy of using it.’

AMO and volkswagen conceptualize electric tractor for sub-saharan africa

 

 

the collaboration was initiated by volkswagen’s cultural engagement team of benita von maltzahn and esra aydin, and rem koolhaas and samir bantal of AMO. from volkswagen, holger lange led the development of the e-tractor, which was designed by peter wouda. on AMO’s side sebastian bernardy was involved in research and production.

AMO and volkswagen conceptualize electric tractor for sub-saharan africa

AMO and volkswagen conceptualize electric tractor for sub-saharan africa

AMO and volkswagen conceptualize electric tractor for sub-saharan africa

AMO and volkswagen conceptualize electric tractor for sub-saharan africa

 

 

project info:

 

collaborators: AMO + volkswagen

exhibition: countryside, the future
status: concept stage

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