Microlino is an electric city bubble car fit for the 21st century

The Microlino by Swiss maker Micro is a tiny electric vehicle imagined entirely for city commutes and short distance travel. Its shape is inspired by the bubble cars of the 1940s and 50s – think of the brilliant L’Oeuf Electrique by French industrial designer Paul Arzens or BMW’s Isetta – with its single front door design which allows you to step right onto the pavement when cross parked. The Microlino can transport three adults... Read More

MINI Vision Urbanaut is a shape-shifting EV that rethinks personal transport’s form and function

In 1959, the Suez Crisis led to oil shortages and the rise of fuel prices across the western world. British Motor Corporation responded by creating an economy car which was affordable and used little petrol. The Sir Alec Issigonis design for the original Mini was genius. The tiny motor car he invented for BMC could pack in more passengers than any other in its comparable size – and it was super-fun to drive too. The Boomers and young... Read More

See how tech firm Komma is rethinking future cities

The Urban Mobility Vehicle hovers somewhere between a motorbike and a conventional car. It is agile like a two-wheeler, but with the comfort and safety of four wheels. the UMV runs on electricity has a much smaller footprint than a standard city car and is around 34% more energy efficient than your average electric vehicle. Plus, it is designed as a premium product by former creatives from Pininfarina. Possibly even more exciting is the brand... Read More

Sustainable lessons from ‘The Art of Earth Architecture’

The city of Yazd is nestled deep in the desert in Iran’s central plain. This world heritage site is home to a mighty collection of domes – structures made entirely from local raw earth bricks and covered in kah-gel, a protective layering of earth and straw. They are intersected with ingenious wind towers too – early air-cons sending cool air into homes. Then, a clever network of wells and underground water channels, known as quanat,... Read More

Flexi Pix City learns from self-driving cars

We are at a really critical time in history – more than 70% of the world’s population is migrating to cities over the next 30 years, and technology is completely altering our reality. We have to rethink how we live, work, interact, consume … I see this as a hugely exciting time. And there are some very exciting innovators and thinkers and designers working on highly progressive concepts. Here’s the latest one I came across  Read More

Clean, green and urban: Zbee is a progressive electric auto-rickshaw

With the climate in crisis, a wave of progressive designers and makers are rethinking the traditional transport model with some brilliant and exciting ideas. Meet the latest, the three-wheel Zbee urban shared run-around by Clean Motion. Take a closer look at this global initiative from Sweden.  Read More

Hot to Cold: an odyssey of architectural adaptation

More than sixty three-dimensional architectural models, mock-ups and prototypes by Danish architect BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group dramatically suspend from the second-floor of the National Building Museum’s historic Great Hall. Hot to Cold: an odyssey of architectural adaptation guides visitors on quite a journey, from the scorching heat of the Arabian desert to the unforgiving chill of the Finnish tundra. The idea is to explore the cultural and climatic... Read More

Vertical cities and urban villages

Can the car be more than a vehicle that takes you from A to B? This has been a subject much discussed in recent years. I remember talking endlessly with Chris Bangle, the former design boss at BMW, on this very subject – something that has been at the core of his design thinking (remember GINA?) – at a time when few car companies dared or even cared to venture into anything that signified a real change from the conventional automobile. There... Read More

Home in the Arab world

The private space is seldom a major topic for an international exhibition, especially one that focuses on the Arab world. ‘Home: Contemporary Architectural Interpretations of the Home in the Arab World’ has set out to do just this. This intriguing exhibition, intimately curated at the Mosaic Rooms in London, explores the domestic architectural space in the context of the Middle East and North Africa and by doing so raises all sorts of intriguing... Read More

Jurgen Mayer on urban mobility

A year ago carmaker Audi challenged a group of world architects to map out some feasible solutions for mobility within the future urban environment. They were asked to conceive of a cityscape for 2030 where urban planning, building design, wireless digital technology and vehicle design work together for sustainable mobility. The result of the Audi Urban Future Awards was fascinating at times, confused and a little naive at other times, but on the... Read More

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