form follows CO2 footprint for design of BMW i vision circular electric car

form follows CO2 footprint for design of BMW i vision circular electric car

BMW’S 100% CIRCULAR CAR

 

the BMW i vision circular showcases a smaller footprint in more ways than size. the mission to minimize the CO2 footprint and the concept of circularity govern every aspect of the EV: design, materials, manufacturing processes and powertrain. imagined for the year 2040, the four meter-long four-seater car presents the future for mobility, proving sustainability does not mean surrendering luxury.

 

the color and trim team and I integrate materials that look to optimize the CO2 footprint in cars BMW produce. the i vision circular is even more extravagant. it shows the future for BMW, our vision and how it will improve society,’ states claudia geidobler, head of BMW i color and trim design, in an exclusive interview with designboom.

form follows CO2 footprint for design of BMW i vision circular electric car
all images courtesy of the BMW Group

 

 

the concept of circularity was a super exciting challenge as a designer because we could push boundaries when rethinking aesthetic, material and style. it was really important to make this car circular, not just sustainable,’ continues claudia.

 

this meant every aspect of designing a car was scrutinized, from the design process through to manufacturing. four pillars of the circular economy guided the conceptualization of the BMW i vision circular: RE:DUCE, RE:USE, RE:CYCLE AND RE:THINK. this tasked BMW – designers, engineers and suppliers – to do more with less, extend longevity of all components, enable the disassembly of materials and provoke alternatives for the future. the result is a vision car that is completely different.

form follows CO2 footprint for design of BMW i vision circular electric car

 

 

FORM FOLLOWS CO2 FOOTPRINT

 

whilst others debate whether form follows function, BMW’s new concept car demanded form following footprint. the concept of circularity set a natural direction for the brand’s designers; if any aspect hindered sustainability then it was rethought. this meant materials, color and trim took precedence in the design process.

 

the exterior and interior designers were briefed to create the perfect canvas for my team to then realize though color and trim. the design needed to be as authentic as possible so that we could explore it in series production in the future. the concept car was a material-driven design basically,’ clarifies the head of BMW i color and trim design.

form follows CO2 footprint for design of BMW i vision circular electric car

 

 

it was refreshing to reduce as a designer,’ expresses claudia. ‘if there was no décor part then we did not need to use a material. this clean design philosophy also enabled the chosen materials to stand out and shine uniquely. even the car’s architecture and structure is on show, for example.

 

small in form, the exterior of the car is distinguished by a clean mono-volume made from the use of secondary aluminum and steel, which, as recycled and reused, is far less environmentally harmful than the extraction and manufacture of the primary material. the aluminum is left without a paint finish to reveal an anodized light-gold hue contrasting with a rich bluish purple color, created by heat-treated steel, at the rear of the vehicle. the front-end is reduced to the max: classical icons of the kidney grille and headlights are reinterpreted as digital surfaces, and the black bumper utilizes recycled plastics to form a sophisticated marble optic. slightly transparent tires are made from certified, sustainably cultivated natural rubber. colored recycled rubber particles have been added to strengthen the component as well as create a terrazzo effect – a highlight of the design for claudia.

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the materials are all recycled – plastic, rubber and metal – but offer familiar tactility and appearance so that consumers do not feel lost or unattached to the design. BMW needed to strike a balance between traditional and progressive; we cannot push people’s perception of circularity if we cannot reach them by going too drastic,’ remarks claudia.

 

when opening the doors, passengers are welcomed to a light, airy interior that feels luxurious and homely. the design appears familiar at first glance, only the color scheme of taupe with splashes of grey and light mint green hint at the deeper progressive luxury. the furniture appears high-end and destined for your living room. two separate lounge seats at the front pair its violet, velvet-like upholstery, made from recycled plastic, with a light-golden aluminum frame and rear shell also finished with a terrazzo pattern of reclaimed polymer. the large rear bench is covered in an elaborate jacquad weave intertwined with 100% recycled materials.

form follows CO2 footprint for design of BMW i vision circular electric car

 

 

at closer glance, though, users spot clever joining techniques that are devoid of bonded connections or any composite materials. these are what BMW have called ‘joyful fusions’ and feature a laser-etched graphic comprising all the letters of the word ‘circular’. the techniques enable the interior’s recycled mono-materials to be disassembled quickly and recycled at the end of its life cycle. this means each element can be easily detached at a press of a button, pull of cord or rotation of a quick-release fastener.

 

circularity considers how each part of the car can be removed, replaced and reused in the manufacturing cycle. we created a logo that contains all the letters of circular. it acts as a key in the design to symbolize materials that can be assembled, detached and turned back into raw materials to be reused again,’ clarifies the head of BMW i color and trim designer. ‘one whole screw can take apart a seat, for example. it is a joyful fusion, it is recognizable and it adds to the circular story. using a tempering color, these elements become a highlight of the interior as if jewelry.

form follows CO2 footprint for design of BMW i vision circular electric car

 

 

A CIRCULAR VISION OF THE FUTURE

 

we always try to bring new ideas into production at BMW. this vision car is the most challenging to realize because there are so many different methods it explores: design, manufacturing, user behavior and more. but we need to continue to develop these solutions so it becomes a reality,’ concludes claudia geidobler, head of BMW i color and trim design, in an exclusive interview with designboom.

 

the principles of circularity are influencing BMW design already, thanks to the i vision circular. the use of recycled materials goes beyond just the exterior and interior design. the EV enhances an all-solid-state battery that is 100% recyclable and manufactured almost entirely using recycled materials. the car highlights how BMW can be sustainable and luxurious in the future; one doesn’t need to compromise the other.

bmw-i-vision-circular-electric-car-claudia-geidobler-interview-designboom07

with the mission to minimize CO2 footprint, the BMW i vision circular showcases a smaller footprint in all aspects of design, manufacturing and more

form follows CO2 footprint for design of BMW i vision circular electric car
the interior design appears familiar at first glance, only the color scheme of taupe with splashes of grey and light mint green hint at the deeper progressive luxury

form follows CO2 footprint for design of BMW i vision circular electric car
symbolized by a laser-etched graphic, ‘joyful fusions’ techniques enable recycled mono-materials to be disassembled quickly and recycled at the end of its life cycle

 

 

project info:

brand: BMW

vision: i vision circular

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form follows CO2 footprint for design of BMW i vision circular electric car
 
form follows CO2 footprint for design of BMW i vision circular electric car
 
form follows CO2 footprint for design of BMW i vision circular electric car
 
form follows CO2 footprint for design of BMW i vision circular electric car
 
form follows CO2 footprint for design of BMW i vision circular electric car
 

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