Semi-Rigid Car

This concept car by Los Angeles architects Emergent is made of cartilage and makes its own fuel from algae. The bio-engineered car would be grown instead of manufactured, with doors and bonnet made of synthetic skin and the chassis capable of folding up like a limb so the vehicle can be transported easily.


The Semi-Rigid Car, designed to explore futuristic manufacturing processes, would be 3D-printed in one piece from a mixture of organic materials as well as polymers, rubbers, resins and silicone.

Doors would be controlled by tendon-like mechanisms, curling back in response to chemical signals emitted by the owner.

Algae tanks inside the car would provide fuel with LED lighting inside the tanks allowing production to continue at night, causing the semi-transparent bodywork to glow.

The Semi-Rigid Car:

Concept cars in the history of the automotive industry, though often produced for brand marketing purposes, constitute, arguably, an avant-garde. The evolutionary development of that industry has always depended on the deterritorialization of domesticated forms of transportation through the introduction of mutations into the system. There are several biases in concept car design, of course, ranging from those which focus on advanced material applications, drive-train, fuel, safety, and other performance dimensions, such as in Formula One, to those which focus on contemporary body styling on a relatively indifferent, if not conventional chassis.

These biases are also evident in contemporary architecture, in the current split between discourses of synthetic materiality and effects (formalism) vs. approaches based on the behavior of physical matter. In car design, however, this split has not become so academically entrenched, and the vast majority of successful concept car designs leverage crossovers between formal features and material behaviors. It is this kind of synthetic thinking which drives our design for the Semi-Rigid Car (SRC), and our hopes for architecture.Semi-Rigid Car (1)

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