Almost Forgotten: BP's Testing Centre


  • As a kid watching TV, I always looked forward to some commercials that I particularly liked. One of the commercials that fascinated me the most was a BP one spreading the slogan ‘BP on the move’. The story line is about a pizza boy delivering a pizza at the BP testing centre (a high plate-glass skyscraper). Each elevator door that opened gave the pizza boy a glimpse into BP’s hottest innovations in the fields of transportation, the city and, of course, the way oil could be used. In a 1988 perspective, the commercial dealt about the future city, giving a short insight in development in automotive and energy innovations.

    Thanks to YouTube the idea of waiting for a commercial to pass by is part of history. Within the context of the history of the future, I’d like to share this 1988 perspective of the future city, which highlights an interesting question: what would the BP testing centre be nowadays, considering the decreasing oil supplies, and the world ambition to diminish our dependency on oil? Watch the commercial, you might know it. This BP video was produced by ILM, with a budget of more than 3 million dollars. Doug Freeman won the AICP award for Production Designer of the Year. Production design and art direction by JetSets.