Objectives

How can the needs of various users be integrated into the design of new, sustainable mobility services?

This is the question project-mo.de addresses by conducting interdisciplinary research into concepts for planning and designing mobility spaces, infrastructure, processes and products. The focus is on personal mobility within the respective transportation system and its infrastructure. The needs of various users are integrated into the design of mobility services and on this basis specific design methods evolved. Design research concentrates here mainly on the emotional factors involved when people avail themselves of services – with the aim being to favorably influence user attitudes and behavior. Regional stakeholders and users are actively consulted in this process. Finally, design guidelines are developed that focus on the overall structure of the mobility system rather than individual products and services in order to promote sustainable infrastructures and multimodal mobility chains.

These objectives can only be achieved in an interdisciplinary research cluster that bundles the expertise of various fields. project-mo.de is funded as the LOEWE research cluster “Infrastructure – Design – Society” and can thus lay important foundations by bringing together scholars from five disciplines to explore the design requirements for a new, networked and multimodal mobility system in the Rhine-Main conurbation: Design at the HfG Offenbach University of Art and Design, transportation planning at the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, social science mobility research at the Goethe University Frankfurt, architecture/urban design and multimedia technology at the Technical University Darmstadt.

Why mobility design?

Mobility design shapes the interaction of the user with a mobility system. The key idea is to enable user-oriented and environmentally-friendly intermodal systems. Design serves as the integrating tool, because the decisions on the design affect how people interact with the mobility system and influences users’ experiences. Here, mobility is viewed holistically as something that is both a need and an ability to move around in a given space. This presumes that mobility design has a systemic thrust, an approach that calls for the bundling of different types of mobility-related expertise. It follows that we should view mobility design as an interdisciplinary task.

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Funding

Between 2018 and 2021, the Hessen State Ministry for Higher Education, Research and the Arts is making available almost EUR 3.6 million from the LOEWE research funding program for the project

Network of LOEWE funding programs

Our research project is part of the network of LOEWE funding programs

Research partners

Project areas

Foto: Wolfgang Seibt / HfG Offenbach

Project area Design

The Design Institute for Mobility and Logistic at the HfG Offenbach University of Art and Design develops sustainable design approaches and methods for multi-modal, environmentally-friendly mobility systems, which focus on the users’ needs. To this end, research first of all evaluates which tasks design has to fulfil when designing mobility spaces. Those findings form the base for design guidelines: With a focus on prototypical mobility spaces and mobility chains, the team systematically determines design objectives and develops guiding concepts and adequate forms of visual representation. For the first time symbolic and emotional qualities of mobility spaces and their influence on the users’ attitudes and behavior are studied and their design possibilities integrated conceptually. In the long term, design guidelines will be derived from this that will contribute to increasing the acceptance of sustainable forms of mobility and improve the development of modern mobility systems.

The HfG Offenbach also has the lead-management of the overall project.

Heads of the project area are Prof. Dr. Kai Vöckler and Prof. Peter Eckart, both members of the Design Institute for Mobility and Logistics (dml) at HfG Offenbach University of Art and Design.

HfG Offenbach University of Art and Design
Design Institute for Mobility and Logistics (dml)

Teaching area Integrative Design

Foto: Benedikt Bieber / FRA UAS

Project area Traffic

Under the overarching goal of improving the acceptance of environmentally friendly means of transport, the specialist group on New Mobility at Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences is essentially responsible for two tasks. One of the tasks is to analyse and process of traffic data in the Rhine-Main region. For this, the area of investigation is first defined. In a second step, existing data on the population and traffic is are gathered and processed. Specific attention is laid on the passenger numbers of the Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund (Rhine-Main transport association).

Acquisition and supervision of focus groups is a further task. Prototypical applications and scenarios are to be tested with different age groups from various spatial areas in order to gain insights into the significance of design for individual mobility behavior. In coordination with the project partners, appropriate methods will be selected and prepared, to discuss subject-specific questions from the project areas of design, traffic, technology and city. The Frankfurt University of Applied Science acts as direct contact for all participants of the focus groups. Here, user specific data is collected and provided for the research project, taking into account data privacy.

The project area is headed by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Petra Schäfer, who is a member of the specialist group New Mobility of Faculty 1 (Architecture, Construction Engineering, Geomatics) at Frankfurt University of Applied Science (FRA UAS).

Under the overarching goal of improving the acceptance of environmentally friendly means of transport, the New Mobility Group at Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences is essentially responsible for two tasks.

Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences
Specialist Group New Mobility

Team

Foto: Thomas Ott / TU Darmstadt

Forschungsbereich Stadt

Beispiele wie Kopenhagen oder Wien zeigen Perspektiven einer „menschengerechten Stadt“ und doch greifen die aktuellen Grundlagen und Methoden in der Stadtgestaltung zu kurz um die Mobilitätswende wirksam mit voranzutreiben. Wirksam, das heißt auch vermittelnd: Zwischen der Ebene der Stadtregion und quartiersbezogenen Lösungen; zwischen der Sicht des Nutzenden und den Interessen der Stadtgesellschaft. Ziel des Teilprojektes ist die Benennung und Potentialabschätzung von Bausteinen nachhaltiger Stadtgestaltung zur Förderung von multimodalen, d.h. verschiedene Mobilitätsträger verbindenden, umweltverträglichem Mobilitätsverhalten. Untersucht werden geeignete Quartiers- und Stationstypologien („Accessible Hubs“) mit spezifischen Mobilitätskonzepten zur Verbesserung des Stadtklimas und der Lebensqualität, Gestaltungselemente im Stadtraum zum Abbau von Barrieren und zur Verbesserung von Aufenthaltsqualität, sowie digitale Werkzeuge der Bürgerbeteiligung. Die Herangehensweise verbindet klassische Methoden der Raumanalyse wie GIS und Space Syntax mit der Erhebung von psychophysiologischen Effekten (z.B. Puls und Eyetracking) und subjektiven Bewertungen des Straßenraumes auf Smartphones. Angestrebt werden Beiträge zum Grundlagenwissen in der Stadtgestaltung, Handlungsempfehlungen für Entscheidungsträger sowie Gestaltungsvorschläge anhand von ausgewählten Knotenpunkten im Ballungsraum Rhein-Main.

Der Forschungsbereich wird geleitet von Prof. Dr. Martin Knöll, der dem Fachgebiet Entwerfen und Stadtentwicklung und der Forschungsfruppe Urban Health Games der Technischen Universität (TU) Darmstadt angehört.

Technische Universität Darmstadt
Forschungsgruppe Urban Health Games
Fachgebiet Entwerfen und Stadtentwicklung

Foto: Ralph Zerbe / TU Darmstadt

Forschungsbereich Technologie

Das Fachgebiet Multimedia Kommunikation an der TU Darmstadt geht im Kern der Frage nach wie umweltfreundliches multimodales Mobilitätsverhalten spielerisch gefördert werden kann.

Als Ansatz werden dabei Serious Games Konzepte eingesetzt, d.h. Spiele, die abgesehen vom „Fun Faktor“ einen Mehrwert bieten, beispielsweise Gesundheitsspiele für die Prävention und Rehabilitation oder auch „Social Awareness“ und „Social Impact Games“, die spielerisch auf gesellschaftlich relevante Themen wie Sicherheit, Religion, Energie oder Klima aufmerksam machen, informieren und ggf. eine Verhaltensänderung hervorrufen. In Zusammenarbeit mit der Fachgruppe Neue Mobilität der Frankfurt University of Applied Science und den Gestaltungsexperten an der HfG Offenbach wird in der Serious Games Gruppe an der TU Darmstadt ein Konzept für ein „Sliced Serious Game“ zur Förderung des umweltfreundlichen Mobilitätsverhaltens konzipiert, in Form einer App prototypisch realisiert und mit den Fokusgruppen des LOEWE Schwerpunkts erprobt.

Datenschutzerklärung zur App Nutzung

Konzeptionelle Fragestellungen umfassen die Gestaltung einer offenen, motivierenden Spielwelt im urbanen Kontext mit der Bereitstellung von ortsbasierten spielerischen Elementen, die zum Spielen in Bussen, Bahnen oder zu Fuß bzw. auch beim Wechsel zwischen Verkehrsmitteln geeignet sind und sich an das entsprechende Verkehrsmittel in Bezug auf Interaktionsverhalten und spielerische Inhalte anpassen. Technisch werden hierbei Konzepte zur sensorgestützten Erkennung von Aktivitäten und genutzten Modalitäten erarbeitet. Ziel dabei ist, eine bessere Erkennungsrate als beispielsweise die von Google bereitgestellte Awareness API zu erzielen und damit insbesondere zwischen verschiedenen motorisierten Verkehrsmitteln unterscheiden zu können.

Der Forschungsbereich wird geleitet von PD Dr. Stefan Göbel und Prof. Dr. Ralph Steinmetz, die dem Multimedia Communications Lab der Technischen Universität (TU) Darmstadt angehören.

Technische Universität Darmstadt
Multimedia Communications Lab

Foto: Uwe Dettmar / Goethe-Universität

Forschungsbereich Gesellschaft

Der LOEWE-Forschungsbereich mit dem Schwerpunkt Gesellschaft stellt die Mobilität des Einzelnen im Verhältnis zum Verkehrssystem und dessen Infrastrukturen in den Mittelpunkt der Betrachtung. Übergeordnetes Ziel ist es, hierbei nachhaltige Gestaltungsansätze zu identifizieren und zu entwickeln, welche umweltfreundliches Mobilitätsverhalten fördern. Im Rahmen des Teilprojekts werden dazu theoretisch-konzeptionelle Beiträge zur Erläuterung der Wirkung von Mobilitätsdesign auf Verkehrsentstehung und Verhaltensänderung eingebracht. Zudem erfolgt die Planung, Umsetzung und Evaluation quantitativer empirischer Erhebungen zu Mobilitätsmustern und designbezogenen Interventionen innerhalb eines Raumausschnittes der Rhein-Main-Region. Die Begleitung und Wirkungsabschätzung solcher Interventionen erfolgt in Zusammenarbeit mit den Projektpartnern insbesondere aus psychologischer und sozialwissenschaftlicher Perspektive. Ziel ist es, aufbauend auf den Erhebungsergebnissen, Handlungs- und Gestaltungsempfehlungen abzuleiten sowie theoretische Modelle zum Mobilitätsverhalten weiterzuentwickeln. An dem Forschungsbereich beteiligt sind Prof. Dr. Martin Lanzendorf, Dr. Hannah Müggenburg und Andreas Blitz.

Der Forschungsbereich wird geleitet von Prof. Dr. Martin Lanzendorf, der dem Institut für Humangeographie und der Arbeitsgruppe Mobilitätsforschung der Goethe-Universität (GU) Frankfurt am Main angehört.

Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Institut für Humangeographie

Arbeitsgruppe Mobilitätsforschung

The skills and insights of all five research areas will be brought together in our joint work on the focal themes of mobility systems, mobility hubs, active mobility and augmented mobility.

Interdisciplinary research on focal themes

Mobility systems

Moving around in intermodal transport networks

Several elements come together in mobility systems namely mobility demand, the transport infrastructure and the mobility services on offer. An environmentally-friendly, intermodal mobility system includes pedestrian and cycle traffic, the offerings of the public transport system but also sharing schemes. The challenging aspects are to ensure networking, visibility, ease of use and intelligibility of such an intermodal mobility system. How can the design of a sustainable mobility system create positive mobility experiences? How can user needs and wishes be better taken into account?

Active mobility

Cycling and walking in urban space
Cycling and pedestrian traffic are essential elements of sustainable mobility systems. How can urban and mobility spaces be organized in such a way that people are motivated to engage in active mobility? So that cyclists and pedestrians enjoy moving in urban space, feel relaxed and can find their way safely? In this context fresh thought must be given to the design and role played by dedicated cycle streets. There is a need to rethink how urban space is sub-divided and what priorities are assigned to the various modes of transport. In addition, a very effective means of assessing aspects such as amenity quality and sense of safety is to closely observe the active mobility of families with children.

Mobility Hubs

Places of connectivity in intermodal mobility
Hubs play a central role in mobility systems with an intermodal focus that create efficient, attractive and environmentally-friendly solutions for individual mobility needs by relying on the easily accessible combination of walking, cycling, public transport, and car sharing: The task of hubs is to connect the various mobility offerings. To facilitate user orientation comprehensive information and guidance systems are needed for the transitions between these mobility offerings, whereby these must also reach out into the urban space itself. It is also vital that greater importance be attached to those symbolic and emotional factors influencing people’s sense of safety and wellbeing. Design concepts will be developed on the basis various hubs and typical situations such as waiting or changing between mobility forms, and then tested in the Rhine-Main region.

Augmented mobility

Designing digital access
The digital, internet-based information and communication space is increasingly superimposed on physical mobility space. As a result, media-based interactions are possible beyond the specific place; in this regard the mobility system can be considered augmented. project-mo.de is working on linking digital gaming and the real mobility experience: How can sustainable mobility behavior be fostered through gamification strategies and a motivating interface design? The aim is to create an active, mobile user experience, which includes the selected form of transport and the associations connected with it. The overlaying of the analog and digital world through virtual reality (VR) creates new mobility spaces that can be experienced in an immersive and active manner. In this way users’ feedback can be integrated as early as the design and planning stage.

Graduate colloquium

The Mobility Design Graduate Colloquium was set up within the LOEWE Research Cluster “Infrastructure—Design—Society” (IDS). It is likewise part of the Graduate school URBANgrad at TU Darmstadt und brings together PhD candidates from faculties and universities involved in our research partnership. Interested young researchers at other institutions and with similar research interests are likewise welcome to take part as associate members.

With its members from the fields of urban planning, transport planning, human geography, design, and computer science, the Colloquium is a lively pool of ideas and an interdisciplinary platform for young researchers interested in mobility research.