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Berlin

UJET: Q-and-A with Andreas Laeufer, Executive Creative Director, Leo Burnett Berlin

The innovative electric scooter that’s helping solve issues of urban mobility.

There’s a new electric scooter that’s changing the future of urban mobility. Beautifully designed and masterfully engineered, UJET promises to help solve the growing challenge of congestion within our city cores. Leo Burnett Berlin’s executive dreative director, Andreas Laeufer discusses UJET‘s concept and design, and how creativity can impact people’s lives.

1. How did this project come about? Talk through UJET’s earliest conception.
From the very beginning, the client wanted a brand positioning that went beyond a pure technological promise. He connected with Leo Burnett because he wanted to appeal to a premium lifestyle segment—seeking a tension between technological innovation and warm prestige.

As a source of inspiration, I looked to the character and design of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, by the architect Preston Scott Cohen. With its contemporary triangular surfaces, which seem to move and fold depending on environmental circumstances, juxtaposed with warm concrete and soft wooden floors, it is the perfect example of how technology can express an approachable and human character.

2. What goes into executing a project of this kind, where a real, functional product is the outcome?
You need support from the best professionals and experts you can get. As we infused the scooter with technology and materials never used on a production bike before, we were reliant on partners who were seeking a technical challenge. We worked very closely with top European engineers and nanotechnology scientists. At the top, you need shareholders who accept trial and error along the way but maintain faith in the vision and drive.

3. The video mentions the “fundamental right of urban living” – what role do creativity and innovation play in creating awareness around human rights, and what makes them so effective in addressing issues of human value?
As we move further into a world where our urban lifestyles are increasingly entwined with technology, designing for future living is the opportunity to show a break from the past, to cut a new path away from the status quo and demonstrate courage.

There is a whole host of lifestyle industries that are about to be upended by technological innovation and environmental pressures; design should be at the forefront of making that change.

4. This UJET campaign received high praise at Leo Burnett’s most recent Global Product Committee meeting. What makes this work so well-aligned with the agency’s creative philosophy and culture?
The 1930’s modernist battle cry ‘form follows function’ is a philosophy that today ought to be updated to ‘form follows function follows people.’ In a world where the digital revolution is redefining industries and transforming consumer experiences, it’s more important than ever that the starting point for design be the behavior and needs of individuals who will be using a product. Leo Burnett exists to celebrate and harness creativity and today, more than ever, we strive to use creativity to produce real solutions to human problems.

5. What’s next for UJET?
We’re continuing to update the software with the goal to integrate AI, to provide an even better and always relevant experience in your urban environment. On top of that, plans have begun to build a two-seater.

Stay tuned to see how UJET continues to evolve to meet the needs of urban citizens around the world. For more information, visit https://ujet.com.

December 6, 2018

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UJET