Jeffrey Schnapp / Harvard Graduate School of Design

Gui Auditorium / Knowlton Hall
August 28, 2019 - 5:30pm

Jeffrey Schnapp will present the lecture Movability (Mobility) in Knowlton Hall’s Gui Auditorium at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 28. Schnapp’s presentation will concerns the granular approach to urbanism being developed at Piaggio Fast Forward (PFF) that, in keeping the spirit of Vespa scooters, we like to refer to as “movability.” Founded in 2015 by the Piaggio Group, PFF’s mission is to develop innovative vehicle types that reclaim human-scale movement from the city-design default of energy-intensive vehicles and the expensive infrastructure needed to support them. Instead of autonomous cars delivering inert people and goods, PFF is developing mobile carriers like gita™ that enable people of all ages and abilities to move better, further, faster and more enjoyably. In the present era of machine intelligence and ubiquitous networks, Schnapp will argue that vehicles that promote urban walkability, face-to-face interactions and off-screen exploration will be fundamental to our collective sense of well-being.

Jeffrey Schnapp is the founder/faculty director of metaLAB (at) Harvard and co-director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. A cultural historian by training, he is Professor of Comparative Literature in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and is on the teaching faculty in the Department of Architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. After three years of service as co-founder and CEO at Piaggio Fast Forward, Schnapp assumed the new position of Chief Visionary Officer effective June 2018. Piaggio Fast Forward is a subsidiary of the Milan-based Piaggio Group, known throughout the world for iconic vehicles like the Vespa and iconic brands like Aprilia and Moto Guzzi. Piaggio Fast Forward’s first generation of robotic vehicles has received worldwide coverage on television, radio and the internet. Its mobile-carrier gita has also won numerous design and engineering awards, including selection as one of the 2018 Beazley Best Designs of the Year at the Design Museum (London).