Nano headlines from around the world:
"Nano: Green Claims Don’t Wash with Environmentalists" — The Sunday Times
"Do Giants Want the Nano to Fail?" — The Hindustan Times
"World's Cheapest Car Upsets Environmentalists" — The Guardian
March 10–11, 2011
“Unpacking the Nano: The Price of the World’s Most Affordable Car” was an international symposium that addressed the complex and potentially monumental impact of the Nano — the new, sub-$2,500 automobile designed and produced in India by Tata Motors. The Nano taps deeply into the modernist trope of speed, individualized mobility, and mass production. Speakers and panel discussions explored the myriad issues raised by the Nano including: the design and engineering accomplishment; climate change and social equity on the Indian sub-continent; the cultural landscapes of mobility; and shifts in socio-aesthetic traffic associated with the automobile.
The symposium was hosted by the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning at Cornell University, in conjunction with the Unpacking the Nano, exhibition displayed at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art January 15 through March 27.
Schedule of Events
Thursday, March 10
"What does the Nano Want? Design as a Tool for Future-building," Keynote Address
Call Auditorium, Kennedy Hall
Arjun Appadurai, Goddard Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication, New York University, keynote speaker
Kent Kleinman, Dean, College of Architecture, Art and Planning, Cornell University
David J. Skorton, President, Cornell University
Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Sons
Friday, March 11
11:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Ives Hall, Lecture Hall 105
11:45 a.m., Panel Session 1: Nano Anatomy
Reflections on the Nano design process — technological, aesthetic, and cultural — framed in the context of mass individual mobility and environmental impact.
- Abhay Deshpande, General Manager, Vehicle Integration, Nano Project, Tata Motors, "Nano — Journey from Dream to Reality"
- Aleksander Mergold, Visiting Assistant Professor of Architecture, Cornell University, session moderator
- Linda Nozick, Professor of Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, "Tata Nano — the People's Car Drives India and the World to a Greener Future?"
- Phillip Patton, Author and Automotive Critic, The New York Times, "People's Cars and Personable Cars"
1:30 p.m., Panel Session 2: Landscapes of Mobility
An architect planner, an environmental policy analyst, and an urban anthropologist reframe the terms "landscape, "mobility" and “the public realm of the city” through the lens of the Nano.
- Madhav Badami, Associate Professor, School of Urban Planning, McGill University, "The Tata Nano and Beyond: Urban Transport in India"
- Dilip da Cunha, Lecturer in Landscape Architecture, University of Pennsylvania, "The Nano in a Rain Terrain"
- Neema Kudva, Associate Professor of Planning, Cornell University, session moderator
- Vyjayanthi Rao, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, The New School for Social Research, "Setting into Motion: Thinking Design with the Nano"
3:15 p.m., Panel Session 3: Nano and Design Cultures
Starting with the Model T, cars have penetrated far beyond the automotive world, entering into the slipstream of both high design and popular culture. As the world’s most affordable car will the Nano shape our imaginaries and design practices going forward?
- Donald Albrecht, Curator of Architecture and Design, Museum of the City of New York, "Auto-Display"
- Bijoy Jain, Architect and Principal, Studio Mumbai, "Pocket Man"
- J. Abbott Miller, Partner, Pentagram, "Exhibiting Design: From Salmon Skin High Heels to Leather Chaps"
- Mary N. Woods, Michael A. McCarthy Professor of Architectural Theory, Cornell University, session moderator
"Storytelling in the City," Keynote Address
Ives Hall, PepsiCo Lecture Hall (305)
Associate Professor of History, Cornell University, discussant
Suketu Mehta, Associate Professor of Journalism, New York University, keynote speaker
Dilip da Cunha
J. Abbott Miller
David J. Skorton
Mary N. Woods