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.
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
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.
‘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.