Sustainable designers Kenneth Cobonpue and Albrecht Birkner have joined forces to shape what's being touted as the world's first biodegradable car. The Phoenix is a superlight roadster built from rapidly renewable bamboo and rattan, along with steel and nylon. Borrowing design principles from Mother Nature herself, the exterior structure is built like a leaf and the interior is a single woven surface that forms the dashboard, floor and seats.
“This project attempts to unveil the future of green vehicles using woven skins from organic fibers mated to composite materials and powered by green technology,” says Cobonpue, a Filipino industrial designer known for his woven furniture.
The car's biodegradable skin is designed to last the average length of time a person keeps a car (5 years in industrialized countries, 10-20 in the developing world). The skin is both inexpensively replaceable and easily customizable.
It's not clear yet how the Phoenix is to be powered, but it's small and light enough that an all-electric setup makes good sense.