lauren elise clark

gas station of the future

gas station of the future
(Tankstelle der Zukunft)

year / spring 2018

masters of art in design / three-day interdisciplinary workshop

location / ZHdK, zurich, switzerland

task /

There are around 3,500 filling stations in Switzerland today (of which around 1,400 have a shop). Within Europe, Switzerland has the densest petrol station network. But what happens to gas stations in the future when fuel supply, fuel demands and mobility behaviors change? Will they become places predominately for shopping or socializing? Who operates the new filling stations? What can we do there, who do we meet, what can we experience or acquire? The idea of the "gas station of the future" starts with new fuels (such as hydrogen as a new form of propulsion) and possible new services. This theme is a vision that the Federation of Petroleum Association, with its 27 members, wants to develop.

Petrol stations have potential: they are often centrally-located, well-connected, open day and night and designed as a "place". The diversification of fuels is just one of the mega-trends that gas stations of the future must face. Today more than one tank is filled at a gas station: shopping, meeting others, passing time, eating, drinking, etc. The gas station is, therefore, vital for individual mobility. We keep coming back - not just to refuel the car. The gas station offers familiarity in a world that is changing fast. Everyone goes in and out; it is a meeting place for different people, social strata and cultures. The oil association is convinced that the gas station has a great future. But one must face the challenges, be open to new visions and evolve.

We do not know exactly how petrol stations are changing with evolving technical and social mobility, but we are already looking for possible scenarios today. For this purpose, a campaign was developed which went live in mid-April 2018 - "Your gas stations - Always-in-motion. Always-in-motion refers to gas stations that are constantly evolving and engaging with their customers' mobility needs.

The MAD THINK TANK aims to create innovative services and products, design ideas for architecture, social interaction, symbols and meanings and interior design. New trends should be taken up, integrated or expanded in order to keep the offer attractive for the target group. No finished solutions have to be worked out, but options must be identified!

In collaboration with Elliot Fry, Ronny Hunger, Sandro Lochau, Erika Marthins & Ksenia Shapoval.  

* drawings/graphics by me