American Marketer


Audi curates Manhattan replica to kick off urban planning event

May 6, 2011



Audi of America is attempting to stir discussions about urban mobility and sustainability for the future by assisting in building a scale-model of New York in 2030 that will be on display during the Festival of New Ideas May 7-9.

The scale model, “Project New York,” is 50 feet long and was designed by five New York-based architectural firms in collaboration with Audi. The project will be revealed this weekend as part of the New Museum’s first “Festival Ideas for the New City.”

“The purpose of the Audi Urban Future Initiative is to bring together visions on how mobility, urban living and the role of transportation will change in the coming years,” said Andrew Lipman, communications manager of Audi of America, Hernon, VA.

The five firms that constructed the futuristic Manhattan model are Leong Leong, Matter Practice, Abruzzo Bodziak Architects, labDORA and THEVERYMANY.

Manhattan project

Festival of New Ideas is a weekend event created by the New Museum. It is a collaborative effort with downtown Manhattan organizations that are working together to visualize thefuture of the city and the ideas that will shape it.

The festival will include a streetfest along the Bowery, three days of conferences and discussions and more than 100 independent projects and public events.

For instance, Audi’s scale model of Manhattan will be on display at Openhouse Gallery May 7 from noon to 7 p.m., May 8 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and May 9 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Additionally, the automaker will participate in Draw Think Tank.

This event will showcase a sketch session via iPad application. The images will be projected onto the walls of the event in real-time at SpaceBuster May 7 at 5 p.m.

Additionally, Audi will host a discussion forum with New York design and architecture pioneers.

The participants will transfer new urban planning findings into realistic future-oriented urbanity and mobility. This forum will take place May 9 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Openhouse Gallery.

Driving force

The crowds drawn by the Festival of New Ideas could be taken advantage of by many types of luxury brands.

Individuals coming to the festival are most likely to be well-educated and interested in the forums, discussions and events revolving around the future of urban planning.

For instance, Audi is using Festival of New Ideas to emphasize its commitment to the future of urban mobility and to build brand awareness.

Meanwhile, upscale hotels could advertise vacancy to lure out-of-towners with a place to stay for the night. They could provide itineraries and information on the festival so that guests do not have to figure out where to go.

Furthermore, retailers could offer festival-themed window displays to entice festival-goers inside the stores.

Nonetheless, the audience drawn to New York this weekend is the exact audience that brands tend to target.

“By envisioning how urban environments will function in the future, we can work with architects and urban planners to solve the problem of urban mobility for years to come,” Mr. Lipman said.

Final Take

Rachel Lamb, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York