Filipino industrial designer Kenneth Cobonpue is known for his signature designs using natural fibres and materials. The Phoenix is his latest venture in partnership with design apprentice Alberth Birkner which is created using rattan, steel, bamboo and nylon. Showcased for the first time at the “Imagination and Innovation” exhibit at Milan, the Phoenix is a testament of high quality craftsmanship to create an environmental friendly solution to transport.
Cobonpue collects and tinkers with vintage cars and is an ardent car lover. However, his concern for the environment is the true inspiration behind this design. When pressed upon this Cobonpue states that though car manufacturing has been a hi-technology process employing robots and complex processes, maybe all that can be done away by a simple handmade solution. The average age of a car is 5-10 years in the industrialized world and the subsequent process of crushing and recycling cars is energy intensive, costly and inefficient. Thus having a biodegradable shell makes a lot of sense. Moreover, the shell can be customized for users according to their heights and builds.
The chassis is formed by the bamboo spine that runs in curves making space for wheels as well as the engine at the back. The rear end consists of a splay of rattan coupled with LED rods to emit light. The sides have provision for glass windows as well.
A renowned name in furniture created from natural fibre, Cobonpue has stunned the design world with his new creation. There is no engine yet but there are talks on the possibility of adding an electric motor to power the Phoenix. Though he does not have any immediate plans to commercialize this, Cobonpue considers it as a creative exercise in the right direction.