Phoenix is a concept car made of bamboo by Filipino designer Kenneth Cobonpue and German product designer Albrecht Birkner. The lightweight vehicle explores alternative, sustainable designs for transportation using natural materials in an effort to progress towards a greener future. With cars being replaced every 5-20 years (dependent on its lifespan and whether the owner is a resident of an industrial or developing country), the project aims to offer an inexpensive and environmentally conscious resolution to the excessive waste problem.
The design project, which was completed in a mere 10 days, is completely handmade with the aid of skilled weavers and craftsmen. The visually appealing construction of the bamboo shell involves an intricate weaving process to simulate the flowing design that wraps itself around the core of the vehicle. The interior of the sculptural model uses a similar technique that “stems from a single woven surface that starts from the front and forms the dashboard, floor and seats.”
The proposal states: “Phoenix introduces the concept of a naturally woven skin which biodegrades together with the life of the car. Should a car's life extend longer than average, this shell can be replaced inexpensively. No longer a product of automation, Phoenix brings back the dignity of the human being and pays homage to the skills of the craftsman. In addition, because it is handmade, frames can be customized according to the needs of the individual.”