Designer Tad Orlowski has created the Willie bus, a conceptual project that trades conventional glass and bodywork on public transport for full-length LCD screens.
“In recent years we have witnessed vast changes in the way different sorts of information reach the listener or the viewer,” says Orlowski. “I wanted to illustrate how new technologies can diversify the functioning of our everyday life. The project should be considered not only from a stylistic point of view but also as an attempt to change the existing order.”
By making use of the screens, Orlowski has tapped new technology trends to transform the urban landscape. The transparent screens can be made to display a wide array of information and visual stimuli — from route information, weather reports and tourist maps to advertisements, TV coverage and artwork — and can also incorporate touch control functions.
At the core of the Willie concept is an organic frame cloaked by large, smooth surfaces and soft rounded outer frame. The smoothness and continuity of these lines is preserved even in the design of the side mirrors, which emerge from the main form in the shape of arches. This is offset by a stylishly organic, simply chaotic structure that forms the construction of the bus frame.
The simple solution takes on a special effect after the interior is illuminated, creating an impression of restless energy attempting to cut through the unblemished surface of the glass. The shape hiding the headlamps and windshield is molded from one piece and passes smoothly to the roof and the rear, which continues the motif of nature, through a wave-like form set off by a falling drop on the surface of water.
Aware that motion pictures can be distracting to other traffic, Orlowski has also thought to make only certain areas functional, such as the ‘sidewalk side’ of the bus. The transparent LCD screens would garner attention from passer-by on the sidewalk whilst being hidden from drivers.
Besides the obvious visual element, it’s clear that this project could not only prove beneficial to every person in the street, but commercially as well. Two European cities have already expressed interest in Orlowski’s work.