Call for Expressions of Interest: AUTO-FICTION

Posted on: 30. September 2019

Automobile is the most representative object of mobility uses evolutions, starting from the Ford T, issued from Detroit factory on 27th September 1908, to the Tesla Robotaxi, which launch is planned on 2020. The number of 1 billion of cars existing on our planet has been reached in 2007. More than 93 million vehicles were produced in the world in 2017 (including 17.6 million in Europe). Car is both a flagship industrial product and a universally desired consuming good.

An iconic design object, automobile has passed through styles and trends. It continuously proposes innovative forms, textures, materials, signs, but it also comes along with a persistent evolution of practices and uses of moving. The automobile industry is the first private investor in Research & Development in European Union; it is the first patent producer, and a major driver for innovation and design. Though automobile is living both a technological and an identity crisis.

Until now, the history of automobile has been linear, but its next future gives signs of radical disruptions. From the Google car to the semi-automated systems of urban logistics, passing by the multiple forms of last km mobility (kick scooters, electrical bikes, personal mobility services, delivery platforms, etc.), the automobile field is living a real shift. So do its economy and its design.

Auto-fiction is an exhibition and a programme of cultural and scientific events produced by Cité du design to lead a reflection on these issues.
The exhibition will propose a trip through the culture of automotive design, from its technological and social evolutions to the autonomous vehicle as central subject of studies. Through the approaches of designers and artists, visitors will be invited to reflect about the destiny of this object, which transforms our systems and way of living beyond the time of traveling. The exhibition will open some tracks to imagine the organization of technologies and design proposals, to reinvent, collectively, the stakes of mobility.


In order to nourish the cultural and scientific programme of the exhibition Auto-fiction the Cité du design is launching a call towards the UNESCO Cities of Design. The automobile culture and its shifts being a global phenomenon, we believe that many cities of the network can enrich the debate with their local history, experience, and expertise on the topic. The aim is building a programme of conferences, labs or workshops with speakers from Cities of Design, to explore the evolutions of the city and new mobilities; of the technologies and vehicles; of the uses and passengers through the evolutions of automobile.

The exhibition and the activities will be organized according the following themes:

  • Our romance: one century of common life
    The culture of automobile and its consequences on our spaces, organizations and imaginaries.
  • Current shift: mobility under radical transformation New mobilities, new technologies and new uses
  • And, suddenly: the autonomous vehicle
    The emergence of autonomous vehicle as a promise of emancipation . The reality of the issues raised by the disruptive innovation of XXIst century mobility
  • Future shift: choices to come and prospective

What is asked:

  • Would you be interested in cooperating to this event?
  • What is the particular experience of your city about the mentioned topics?
    Example : Detroit or Turin known as “ motor cities” and the evolving impact on the city planning, economy, culture, with the evolution of the sector; the more recent and booming culture of automobile in China; K-City the testing city for Samsung autonomous vehicles nearby Seoul; sharing mobilities in a context like Singapore etc.
  • Would you have name to recommend as speakers or actors, for a conference, a workshop or a lab, or other type of collaboration?

It can be designers, researchers, or companies with a particularly enriching point of view to share with the public of Cité du design. Feel free to suggest new form of action that might create value and collaboration between our Unesco Cities of Design.

The result of these workshops, Labs, etc. could be material for a collective UNESCO exhibition, that could move from one city to another for your own Design Events.


Deadline: October 25, 2019
Simply answering to this 3 questions by e-mail at