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Cornell University

The innovation of electric cars opened a sea of possibilities to a world of growing environmental concerns and depleting resources. This new road, paved by the birth of electric cars was followed by the question: can nature finally take a breather and can architecture propel the next generation of vehicles? However, rather than can, how architecture does so in a world where technology has the ability to exploit individual mental health brought about ‘Conv-In’’ : a convenient charging station.Conv-In, the new-age charging station, proposes a design which embeds new-age technology within the iconic identity and cultural memory of gas stations. Gas stations today are mostly self-serve. Conv-In, inspired by iPhone charging pad technology, introduces a new method of handsfree electrical car charging. When entering the charging station, one enters onto a pink-white checker pattern floor plan made of 18’ by 18’ square charging pads. Once parked onto a charging pad, electromagnetic induced technology with artificial intelligence can read the car’s current battery, state of maintenance and history. The collected data transfers directly to one’s smartphone via the Conv-In app. Through the app, one chooses the desired amount of charging. In an age where you can buy anything with the click of a mouse and pay or the tap of your phone, car charging in a few years should become just as smart and easy. While the ease and efficiency of charging a car are significant, the cultural value of a charging station is equally important. While on the road, the iconic canopy with four supporting columns, is the best identifier of a gas station. Therefore, Conv-In maintains this emblem for those on the road who are in search of a charging station. While the canopy maintains, the columns previously containing fuel now carry human fuel: food and drinks. The staple of every gas station are convenience stores, creating a culture of ‘snacking’ while on the road. Therefore this culture is passed on and reformulated onto the ‘Conv-In’. Besides the passing on the memory of gas stations to new charging stations, additional architecture is added. Diner tables and chairs are dispersed among the checker pattern ground to rest, dine or socialise while waiting for the car to re-charge.. The addition of furniture creates a homey place making quality for humans - social animals - who can seclude themselves into their screens and cars. Conv-In introduces an architecture that carries the formal memory of gas stations while introducing a novel method of vehicle sustenance. The intersection of the past with the future is the driving force behind Conv-In, a place unifying the peace of the human soul with the development of the human mind and environment.

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