Revs Program at Stanford
Connecting the past, present, and the future of the automobile
In April 2011 we launched the Revs Program at Stanford – an interdisciplinary effort to raise the profile of car studies, to bring together and empower communities of enthusiasts, researchers, and collectors, to bring a deep understanding of the history of the automobile to bear upon automotive design. The Revs Program is part of the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford (CARS).
With the automobile, everyone has a story that deserves to be shared. No other invention has defined (and redefined) the past century more fully or more profoundly than the automobile. Nevertheless, research into cars, especially centered upon people’s experiences, remains specialized, disconnected, contained within corporations, looked down upon by academics.
The Revs Program at Stanford aims to correct all this. Our challenge is to dive deep into a human-centered understanding of the design of the car – an understanding that gives priority to the experiences of people who engineer and drive them, love them and hate them.
The Revs Program runs classes, pursues research, hosts events, connects communities of interest. We work with a collection of cars, one of the finest in the world, in the Revs Institute in Naples, Florida. We are creating a state-of-the-art online library of publications and imagery with Stanford Libraries.
In 2013 the Revs Prize for most Historically Significant Car in Show was awarded at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance – the great annual gathering of car collectors.
Automotive Archaeology: How the History of the Car is the Key to the Future of Personal Mobility – a book written with automotive historian and journalist Jon Summers. A detailed outline of the mission of the Revs Program, this is a a call to action – to care for the automotive past in all its richness of human experience and in the cars themselves, such that the future of personal mobility, with the coming of the autonomous vehicle, may be better designed.
Auto-biography – an exploration of how cars and their stories may be best documented. Here I am collaborating with, among others, the Historic Vehicle Association of America, developing ways for recording the richness of automotive history as it is embodied in the cars themselves.
The Animated Automotive Archive – a new kind of library/archive/repository for all things automotive, to be a one-stop shop for imagery, literature, information about automotive history, and where the visitor is also an active collaborator or co-creator, able to annotate and add to the collections. Under development by Stanford Libraries.
Revs at Stanford – where the archive and museum are a
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The Revs Program exists through the vision and support of Miles Collier and is affiliated with the Revs Institute, based in Naples, Florida.