Royal College of Art: Vehicle Design show & more mobility concepts

June 24, 2015 § Leave a comment

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And a quickfire round-up of the 2015 end-of-year show at the Royal College of Art, and the work of the Vehicle Design graduates – a lot of futuristic visions, with shared vehicles and autonomy strong themes as well as biotechology. Lots of car design types wandering around at the private view (from consultancies and OEMs, probably scouting out the talent); also, many ‘fashion-forward’ outfits and haircuts, but then that’s art colleges for you… Anyway, the vehicle design projects are all showcased here; ones that particularly caught my eye from a more than aesthetic point of view (and for which there are some info on the RCA website) were: Farhana Safa’s Kinesis, an application for a shape-shifting liquid metal with sculptural qualities, suitable for housing electric drivetrains; Simon Haynes’ ‘No Infrastructure Needed’, a ‘4D-printed’ simple vehicle for local assembly, and Yibo Wu’s friendly little ‘Happie’ autonomous commuter car for 2040.

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Shout-out too for Service Design student Nawar Almutlaq and her ‘Weave’ proposal for an integrated multimodal transport ticketing system for Doha, with an incentives scheme and “designed to facilitate the transition from car-based to mass transit commuting” – a nice example of location-specific design. Also, Yongkwan Yoon’s Delectricity (pictured) was well-thought-out – a scheme of portable EV chargers, charged up at central hubs but deployed to domestic ‘mobile’ or leisure (‘joyful’) locations, or used in emergency out-of-charge ‘rescue’ scenarios. “Convenience is key to scaling up electric mobility”, he says, pointing out that his mobile chargers can deliver charge to cars on a daily basis like taking delivery of a newspaper – wake up, and it’s arrived. Were I handing out Best In Show prizes, I’d probably pick this one as a really useful service which could be easily and quickly implemented.

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And noticeable for a quite different reason was the quite literally stomach-churning and very visceral Digestive Car by Yi-Wen Tseng, a Design Interactions student: this has four cow-like ‘stomachs’ digesting biowaste to create methane on which it runs.

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