At the 2010 Royal College of Art Vehicle Design degree show, a driverless taxi, an eco car connected to an eco home, and a vehicle with a strong Finnish design identity were some of the highlights to be seen. The Design Degree Show is one of the hotbeds for recruiting talented emerging car designers – the alumni reads like a who’s who of the motoring industry – this year’s show felt uncharacteristically light on innovative thinking.
Marten Wallgren (Sweden) – ‘The Grid’
Swedish designer Marten Wallgren was deservedly awarded the prize for best design interpretation at the Pilkington Automotive Awards, which takes place alongside the show, for his 2025 commuter service concept.
The design was inspired by artist Eva Hild’s clay sculptures where holes and surfaces are connected in an endless transition exposing the chassis. When the commuter car is empty the cabin is thin for reduced wind resistance and little energy consumption. When a passenger embarks, the cabin folds down and creates the required seats. The size of the vehicles means that they can be stored like supermarket trolleys where the batteries are then connected for an even distribution of energy. www.martenwallgren.com
David Seesing (Germany)- Symbiosis
Symbiosis explores the possibilities of connecting architecture and transportation to form an energy efficient living system. Inspired by architecture, the four-seater vehicle is restructured as a multilayered system consisting of three main parts: the interior cabin, supporting framework and the exterior skin. While piezoelectric crystals, integrated in the framework, create energy from airflow between the layers of the vehicle, the exterior skin of the car collects energy from sunlight.
Miika Heikkinen (Finland)- Aava
Aava is a small fuel cell powered promotional vehicle designed for the Helsinki Winter Olympics 2030. During the games it will offer tours around Finnish sights, after which the vehicle will be turned into a micro rental system. The design is based on the forms of an abstract Birch sculpture intended to represent Finnish nature. The concept’s ecological and pure materials have been chosen to reflect traditional Finnish design and heritage.
Bora Kim (Korea) – Jekyll and Hyde
Jekyll and Hyde is a luxury electric vehicle for Bentley in the year 2035. Created at the marque’s Crewe headquarters, the car’s surface is covered in solar panels to collect energy, and wind power helps to circulate air within the car interior. The bullet shape at the rear has been designed for maximum aero-efficiency.
Niki Herriman (Great Britain) – Expression
Expression aims to introduce expressive body language through clever surfacing. Each of the small individual body panels on the surface have the ability to move independently so that the user can show his or her emotions through forms expressed on the exterior of the car.
Anand Krishnan – ThinQ
ThinQ is a future electric vehicle that utilises wafer thin battery technology, developed by Imperial College London, embedded in the skin of the vehicle. The project experiments in decoding the aesthetic for the new powertrains to come. krishnan-anand.blogspot.com