Meet the semi-finalists
None of our semi-finalists had ever designed a vehicle before. They met the Renault makers with a boldness and a real passion for life in the automotive lane. Let’s take a look at what they came up with. They’re our future creators and we’re proud to share what they’ve achieved thus far.
Yuchen Cai, creator of The Float
Yuchen was born and raised in Shanghai. For this project, she ‘thought about how Renault might use modularity to design a car that can be adapted to meet the wants and needs of real people’.
Yuchen describes modularity as a design of components that can be assembled together in a variety of ways to meet the individual users’ needs. Inspired by the pattern of tessellation, she created vehicles as individual units that can also be connected together. Each ‘modular’ can be transferred into different modes to suit different scenarios.
Named The Float, due to its form and function, it looks like a bubble when in transit: rather than moving on wheels, the vehicle uses Maglev – magnetic levitation – a technology created in China. Made with transparent glass on the exterior and with silver seats, Float has a futuristic design aesthetic. ‘I didn’t want it to look like a normal car. It needed to have a feeling of science and technology. I’m most proud of this element, the organic “peanut” shape of the vehicle. The form and function can’t exist without the other.
Stephanie Liu, creator of Flo
Stef was born and raised in New Zealand. In a world where we are already revolutionising the way we get around, Stef wanted to find out what was left for her to uncover.
The initial concept behind Flo came from the notion of a ‘seamless journey’. This, in turn, was inspired by bridges, bespoke experiences and dystopian futures. For Stef, a seamless journey meant ‘a constant flow of goods and people across a city.
‘I wanted to create bridges between different aspects of our daily life, our homes and our workplaces. And to produce a service that puts us at the focal point. So, within Flo, the interiors can be swapped out depending on the users’ needs. There’s a separate freight unit that allows for seamless transportation of goods. And across an entire city there would be goods-receiving portals, built to facilitate the reception of people and goods on the streets, and connecting from the car to your apartment. And the name Flo suggests fluidity.’
Her advice for next year’s contestants? ‘Be true to yourself. Approach it from an angle you’re passionate about. Renault came to us because they were looking for something different.’
Tuna Yenici, creator of Vue
Tuna was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey. What set his proposal apart was his unique take on establishing an emotional bond between the users and vehicles of the future. ‘I was always interested in emotional aspects of design. My passion for cars was the first thing that made me hold a pencil as a kid.
But rather than looking at other cars for inspiration, he was inspired by the relationship between humans and their pets. So, in the same way a dog would interact with its owner, ‘Vue will be sad to see you go after its job is done for the day. Vue also greets you when you first get into it for the day, like a pet.
‘I wanted people to focus on the personality and the gestures of the car. So, for instance, the cockpit of the car represents a head and has many gestures like greeting, nodding, rotating or tilting.’
For Tuna, this project was a real eye-opener – a childhood dream became a reality. Armed now with more confidence and a world-class experience, Tuna realised he does have what it takes to be a part of the automotive industry, and that’s what really made him smile.
Who will impress the judges the most? That’s still to be decided. Watch this space.