Arturo Tedeschi has devised a new tram for the Italian capital of design, Milan, conceptualized as a solution to the city’s current social distancing measures, Passerella is carefully designed to cater for the changing habits of citizens.
With Milan’s yellow tram a treasured symbol of public transportation, the project also makes particular reference to the iconic 1503 model by reinterpreting its style and proportions with novel technologies.
The design by A>T features a dynamic display integrated into the vehicle body, which transmits advertising as well as graphically appealing tram-stop information.
The interior is conceived as a fashion set where the corridor is turned into a runway (Passerella), surrounded by high-end materials and enveloping geometries.
Seats are separated by plexiglass shields and are characterized by gilt arcs that serve both as formal signs and practical structures.
The tram floor features a circle pattern that discreetly signals the safe distance to maintain.
Even the vehicle’s roof (usually a ‘leftover area’ filled with technical systems) has an important role in the overall design, since trams are also seen from Milan’s balconies.
The top is crossed by a set of dynamic stripes that refer to Italian futurism graphics, which emphasized the cult of velocity and transportation.
“The tram is certainly the most loved symbol of Milan’s public transportation, with particular reference to the iconic 1503 model,” said the designer.
“The social distancing measures adopted by the city – one of worst hit by Italy’s Covid-19 pandemic – are changing citizens’ habits and the way they live and perceive public transportation.”
Tedeschi wanted to give the standard social distancing warnings that have appeared in many cities, including Milan, a more “friendly” design.
“These days it is common to see placeholder-stickers with warnings like ‘don’t sit here’ or ‘keep one metres distance’,” he said.
“But we don’t have to forget that Milano is the capital of design, and won’t easily adapt to trivial and poor solutions.”
“Maintaining a one-metre distance basically means to have a virtual circle of one metre around people, so why not make a real one?” he asked.
“The corridor’s pavement integrates circles that both generate a graphic pattern and a distance reminder.”
The interior has been conceived as a fashion catwalk, or “passerella” in Italian – laid out like an open corridor with rows of seats lining each side.
This runway-style passage is surrounded by “high-end” materials such as gilded, arc-shaped edgings on the plexiglass dividers, which match the circle markings on the floor and stand out against the interior’s black base.
Designers: Arturo Tedeschi, A>T
Design Team: Arturo Tedeschi, Lorenzo Pio Cocco