45 min

Cars, Parking and Motorways Arts & Ideas

    • Places & Travel

Where are we? How did we get here, and where are we going?

Our relationship with the self-propelled small metal boxes in which we spend so much of our time is not as simple as it feels.

Why did we learn to need them? How did they shape our cities, our typewriters and our bacon slicers? Should we now redesign our roads, streets and even our skies for AI driven cars? What do we learn by looking at suburban car parks?
A discussion reflecting on speed, automobiles, AI and the 60th anniversary of the M1 motorway. Anne McElvoy presents.

Brendan Cormier is curator of the forthcoming exhibition Cars: Accelerating the Modern World, which opens in November. Nicole Badstuber of the University of Westminster studies our commuting habit and the trends in journeying that modern life inflicts on all of us. Jack Stilgoe is a senior lecturer at UCL who studies governance and oversight of emerging technologies, looking in particular at driverless futures. Gareth E Rees is author of Car Park Life, a journal of empty spaces and discarded moment, described as "A Retail Park Heart of Darkness".

M1 Symphony, a soundscape documentary telling the story of Britain’s first motorway, featuring a specially-commissioned composition from former BBC Proms Inspire composer Alex Woolf, performed by the BBC Philharmonic is available to hear if you search for BBC Radio 3's Sunday Feature.

On BBC.com/Ideas you can find a short film exploring the history of motorway service stations

Producer: Alex Mansfield.

Where are we? How did we get here, and where are we going?

Our relationship with the self-propelled small metal boxes in which we spend so much of our time is not as simple as it feels.

Why did we learn to need them? How did they shape our cities, our typewriters and our bacon slicers? Should we now redesign our roads, streets and even our skies for AI driven cars? What do we learn by looking at suburban car parks?
A discussion reflecting on speed, automobiles, AI and the 60th anniversary of the M1 motorway. Anne McElvoy presents.

Brendan Cormier is curator of the forthcoming exhibition Cars: Accelerating the Modern World, which opens in November. Nicole Badstuber of the University of Westminster studies our commuting habit and the trends in journeying that modern life inflicts on all of us. Jack Stilgoe is a senior lecturer at UCL who studies governance and oversight of emerging technologies, looking in particular at driverless futures. Gareth E Rees is author of Car Park Life, a journal of empty spaces and discarded moment, described as "A Retail Park Heart of Darkness".

M1 Symphony, a soundscape documentary telling the story of Britain’s first motorway, featuring a specially-commissioned composition from former BBC Proms Inspire composer Alex Woolf, performed by the BBC Philharmonic is available to hear if you search for BBC Radio 3's Sunday Feature.

On BBC.com/Ideas you can find a short film exploring the history of motorway service stations

Producer: Alex Mansfield.

45 min

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