Interaction Design Institute Ivrea Belmer Negrillo see personal portfolio at
Politico Mobil
©2003 - Belmer Negrillo & Karmen Franinovic
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  Political systems inside community car



:: organization of power in constrained car environment
PoliticoMobil was developed at the workshop Applied Dreams, called “Community Cars Dreams - new interactions in the context of mobility”, in collaboration with Fiat Auto Advanced Design. I worked with Karmen Franinovic, with coordination of Simona Maschi, Dave Slocombe and Laura Polazzi, all from IDII, and Noam Toran, from RCA.

This project explores systems of power expressed through social interactions inside the car. Using extreme examples of political systems, PoliticoMobil questions control, decision making, and issues of property inside the collective car community, as well as the concept of the community car itself.

The car becomes a theatre in which political systems are performed. The results of this project are meant as stimulation for the design of new possible social systems in the community car, and new physical designs that may be adapted to them.

Trust, access and communication are important aspects of every community. In the car these are expressed through actions such as the designation of a single driver, control of the sound or heat system, the logic of the cars doors. How do we make collective decisions in the car about these systems (where to go, what to listen…)? What possibilities does the implicit car system give us to make personal decisions?


The design system proposed in this project.

:: analysis of systems
This project started with an analysis of the current car systems of the Fiat Multipla and with a categorization of some political systems, in order to find relations and equivalences between them.

Check the Analysis page for more details.

The systems of the Fiat Multipla currently. Click on the image to know more about the analysis process.

Detail of the categorization of political systems. Click on the picture to enlarge.

:: political systems in the Fiat Multipla
In the PoliticoMobil the community car becomes a theatre in which the political systems are acted out relative to the mechanisms of power that underlie the automobile, and the way that this power may be allocated. For example, depending on the physical and social makeup of the automobile, control of the car doors may be personal for each door, may be entirely controlled by the driver, may be partially controlled by the driver (for example, the back doors), or can be physically managed by passengers in the front of the car (as in the case of a two-door car).

Invisible relations inside of the community (is the driver the king or the slave?..) can be expressed through the design of the car. Designing extreme expressions of political systems that would stimulate certain behaviors is intended as a tool for better understanding of the range of systems that may be expressed inside the car. After a conceptual development of four possible political systems in the car, we entered into a stage of physical prototyping of two of them (incorporating, however, aspects of all four) in order to represent the possible interactions.

Below are some sketches of political systems applied in the Multipla context, the first two have also video scenarios:

Italy 1920 Fascism. Mussolini as dictator.

Video description:
the car is divided in two clear areas: the front one, with the driver and people th
at he empathize with (the party), and the rear one, with common people. If people at the back tries to riot, there are in the car several 'disciplinary' features, in way to keep things under control and make everybody sing together the same song.
Click on the image above to watch the scenario movie.

America 2001 Representative Democracy. Bush as president.

Video description: the seats of the car are distributed in a way that they constitute a wheel, the Consumption Wheel. People work, spend money, receive a good, consume and trash, and then it starts again. At the center of the car there is a seat with surveillance controls over all the others' actions and behaviors. The guy at the center monitores the passengers and determines the images that come from the windows. In this particular system, there is another wheel, overlapping the previous one. It is the Fear-Surveillance one. If people have low fear, the surveillance control becomes annoying. If the fear is high, people accept more control over their freedom in exchange of more 'security'.
Click on the image above to watch the scenario movie.

Yugoslavia 1980 Socialism. Tito as dictator.





Contents of this page


analysis of systems

political systems in the
Fiat Multipla






Video Scenarios

see descriptions at
the bottom of this page

"Bush - Democracy"
 Mov (aprox.
7,4 Mb)


"Mussolini - Fascism"
 Mov (aprox. 5,3 Mb)










Applied Dreams workshop
official website


Interaction Design Institute Ivrea Belmer Negrillo see personal portfolio at