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ECCO and other futuristic projects by NAU
by IKE 16-May-2011 05:59


It would have been very difficult for a design studio or department of an established automaker to produce such an original and imaginative concept like the ECCO. The multi-purpose vehicle (its official description is “zero-emissions mobile living solution”) is one of the 5 projects that comprise the Future Design Series of NAU design studio.---



ECCO is loosely inspired by the Airstream campers and the VW microbus, both exceptional designs and equally remote from the automotive mainstream. NAU designed a cell shaped like an airfoil where all the mechanical and electronic gear is pushed in the outer walls leaving the maximum possible space for the passengers. With the vehicle fully stopped the roof can rotate and expand with the help of a canvas extension, provide a comfortable accommodation.


As expected the propulsion is courtesy of a solar/electric system but here it isn’t just a green label, its merits are fully exploited and this ‘distributed’ drivetrain is essential for the project. The vehicle steers and moves like a tank via the differential drive of the two big hollow wheels, with a third trailing wheel providing additional stability and control. However exotic and far-fetched the ECCO is, it appears to be a very feasible idea that shouldn’t be very difficult to become a reality. The design of ECCO shows imagination and lateral thinking that underlines the conservatism of car design. A somehow similar approach was the Moovie concept by industrial designer André Costa that won the 3rd Peugeot design competition.



There are also 4 other projects like this very cleverly designed lounge blimp. You can read more about them here:

http://arch.nau.coop/#/future-design/ecco/Ecco_01

One of the projects is the i-cocoon concept about an unusual interface that is best presented through this short film that falters between genius and blasphemy:



More about i-cocoon: http://www.i-cocoon.com

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