BIO 50 envisions modular engine block for interchangeable use BIO 50 envisions modular engine block for interchangeable use
sep 26, 2014

BIO 50 envisions modular engine block for interchangeable use

BIO 50 envisions modular engine block for interchangeable use
photo by engine block group




on the occasion of ljuljana’s biennale – BIO 50 various design teams investigated pressing issues related to the conception, production, and consumption of everyday life. under the theme ‘engine blocks’, design office re-do studio, with collaboration by ricardo carneiro and antoine monnet, aimed to rethink the systems through which motor-based tools and vehicles operate.


the team set out in partnership with the well-established slovenian motorcycle and moped manufacturer tomos. due to the company’s unexpected bankruptcy, the group reassessed its approach and developed an interchangeable engine block which can be plugged into various machines used by a given individual. the customized unit is complemented by a series of hacked devices, and presented at BIO 50 as artifacts exemplary of the proposed system. the concept is further manifested through a short film set in a possible future reality.


the short film follows a man utilizing the modular engine block for his various machines
video courtesy of re-do studio




the ‘engine block’ film envisions a society characterized by increased engagement with their machines. this maker-centric spirit is posited as a means for survival, by producing a more conscious humanity. vera sacchetti, of the BIO 50 curatorial team, elaborates on the project’s concepts:


‘their scenario is the not so distant-future, a western wasteland that, despite being more often present in sci-fi, is today a part of our collective unconscious. more pragmatic than mad max, the protagonist of this vision is a resourceful homo faber – a post-apocalyptic maker. in this reality, the modular tomos engine developed by the engine block group becomes an enabler of survival, an industrial construct for a post-industrial age.’

engine block bio 50 re-do studio designboom

a display of hacked machines
photo by engine block group




the displayed objects exist in the museum gallery as a collection of objects from the past, viewed from the speculative future presented by the film. beyond the customized engine block, kept within a protective case, various hacked machines include a motorcycle, table saw, scooter, concrete mixer, boat motor, and water pump.

engine block bio 50 re-do studio designboom

the team produced a customized engine block for interchangeable functionality
image © designboom

engine block bio 50 re-do studio designboom

the hacked motorcycle
photo by ana kovač/MAO

engine block bio 50 re-do studio designboom

the hacked scooter
photo by ana kovač/MAO

engine block bio 50 re-do studio designboom

the hacked concrete mixer
photo by ana kovač/MAO

engine block bio 50 re-do studio designboom

the hacked boat motor
photo by ana kovač/MAO

engine block bio 50 re-do studio designboom

photo by engine block group

  • Ever heard of Briggs&Stratton?

    Gordon says:
  • I thought of this out of pure functionality. Congratulations on building it! Of course it could be taken to many more uses. Your fantastic!

    Greg says:
  • Makes sense – just make it electric power tools.


    jimCan says:
  • good idea

    REZA says:
  • BCS rototillers, check it out, not much new under the sun

    otium says:
  • I was thinking of interchangeable power – one electric for riding in the city and when you decide to go out – then you get 800cc on the road. Probably TOMOS can be interested in this idea.

    Gjurovski says:

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