Ezra has been a road designer for almost twenty years since leaving university, working on projects such as the M62 Smart Motorway and the A303 Stonehenge improvements. Their focus has always been firmly set on the future and how technology can meet and exceed people’s changing needs – a challenge that Ezra and their team are hungry to solve on their current project designing infrastructure for electric vehicles (EVs).
Working with stakeholders ranging from drivers to EV manufacturers has made Ezra understand that, in addition to technical expertise, behaviour is key. They have learnt that asking questions, challenging thinking and seeking the views of as many colleagues, users and innovators as possible enables their team to design road concepts that put people first. By running regular community workshops to generate ideas, Ezra’s team can turn the seed of an idea into something really useful for society.
The next workshop will concentrate on plans to use EVs to meet the rising demand for mobility as a service, and will try to answer:
- What infrastructure developments will we need to meet requirements for improved connectivity and data analysis?
- How can we design for the trend towards ‘pick up and drop off’ pay-as-you-go services, particularly for the future use of EVs?
Ezra knows they will have to do a lot of preparation to make the day a success – keeping up-to-date with industry publications on topics like changing demographics, future trends and technology advances and passing this information on to their team. They know that designers must ‘think human’, putting themselves in the shoes of users, to really understand what’s important to them.
Regardless of how amazing and exciting electric vehicles are, they will still involve a major lifestyle change. Ezra will use the workshops to consult user groups to make sure the team understands from the outset what users value and how they see EVs fitting into their daily routine.
Ezra has faith in the skill and ingenuity of their people and has seen some of the team’s previous workshop ideas materialise into great things. They know that not every idea will turn into a game-changer, but giving colleagues the freedom to explore ensures there are always new ideas, new developments and knowledge from other sectors that they can apply to benefit customers for decades to come.