This year's graduates include Daniel Quinlan, whose ‘honest electric vehicle’ is a clever proposal for a design that exposes all the elements that make up an electric vehicle. Most innovative is reworking battery cells so they make up an exposed honeycomb structure that is also the core structure of the car. The proposal for laser etching away part of the bubble canopy is very interesting because it apparently strengthens the glass at that point, despite taking material away.
Francesco Binaggia’s flight of fancy has two people being carried in an autonomous car inside a nest – or floating in a cloud. This may look mad, but his logic – that it is designed to help people "re-discover genuine and simple sensory sensations…for a new analogue life experience" – shows how much time this generation has spent on-line. But, for them, escaping to the countryside will mean being driven there in luxury, rather than driving.
Hoe young Hwang’s ‘Super Normal’ Bentley hints at another swing reaction to digital dominance. He said he was fascinated by the ‘English Wheel’ which is used to hand-form aluminium panels and his proposal was a "revolt against the absence of a thinking hand" in vehicles created digitally. The Bentley’s wild glasshouse was inspired by the WW2 B-52 bomber.
Moulding the structure of a budget car in one piece is being kicked around in the industry and Inkook Jung takes the idea one step further by building a short lifespan car with recycled materials, further driving down the build costs.
There are two new takes on motorcycles at the RCA, Pierre Andlauer’s Analog-E which aims to bring back the kind of interaction experienced by a rider and a horse. Ex-Architect Nicholas Dunderdale’s Mercedes Rainmaster is a two-wheeler, with all the batteries and tech in the side panels, leaving open frame. He also envisages two Rainmasters joined together.
Ji Won Yun’s Maserati concept is a "low-fat premium design that rejects superficial luxury and gets away from excessive overwhelming ornamentation."
Two Chinese students looked at transport that’s unique to the mega-cities of China. Zishi Han Project Rhizome looks at the local three-wheel motorcycle-based unofficial taxis and proposes a properly engineered base platform, which can then be locally customized.
Yuan Fang looks at the opposite end of inner city transport with a ‘semi-public’ luxury transport system for ‘vertical megacities’ such as his home city of Shenzhen that runs from building to building on maglev lines.
Selim Benhabib has used some impressively lateral thinking with his ‘Wreck-less’ car. In the not-so distant future, when inter-connectivity and autonomous driving systems make it impossible to crash, what could a car look like if all the crumple zones and safety legislation could be abandoned? Yalim Erkaya’s proposal looks at a skin that stretches and shifts to suit prevailing aerodynamic conditions – something that must be getting close to reality.
Xiangyin Yao looks at one of biggest problems for Chinese cities with his ‘Fresh Air’ proposal. He wants to see a car that eliminates in-cabin pollution and that rejuvenates the driver with the "experience of natural airflow and fresh oxygen".