LA Design Challenge Announces 2013 Entries

The Los Angeles auto show has announced the entries for the 2013 Design Challenge. Celebrating its 10th annual recurrence, this year’s competition saw nine global design studios answer a brief themed: ‘Biomimicry & Mobility 2025 — Nature’s Answer to Human Challenges.’

While past Design Challenges have mainly featured entries from local OEM studios in the vicinity of Los Angeles, this year’s Challenge is a more international affair. Studios participating in the Design Challenge represent the brands BMW, Changfeng, JAC Motors, Mazda, Qoros, SAIC Motor, Subaru and Toyota.

With biological knowledge doubling every five years, biomimicry in cars is also set to increase. Each of the nine competitor’s mobility solution or system has been designed with nature’s inspiration while increasing function and addressing a variety of transportation topics, such as congestion, pollution, safety and sustainability.

The entries for this year’s Design Challenge propose mobility solutions inspired by natural creatures, structures and occurrences. From self-sustaining silkworms to long-forgotten waterways, the entries are sure to spark intense competition and careful deliberation at the LA Auto Show’s 2013 Design Challenge.

Here is a rundown of the entrants:

BMW Group DesignworksUSA, USA
LA Subways

The first of two DesignworksUSA entries, the ‘LA Subways’ proposal aims to solve LA’s daily traffic congestion and decrease the environmental impact. DesignworksUSA designers have therefore explored forgotten waterways as a commuting alternative with their vehicle concept. Inspired by the efficiency of swarms and the unique power generating processes found within cells, DesignworksUSA’s design serves to answer the ever-growing challenges of mobility in Los Angeles.

BMW Group DesignworksUSA, USA
SEED concept
2013 LA Design Challenge: BMW DesignworksUSA 'SEED'
For the second entry, Head of Automotive Design Marc Girard’s team were again inspired by biomimicry in creating the BMW ‘S.E.E.D (Sustainable Efficient Exploratory Device)’. The concept was created to explore the world’s harshest environments in search for new life forms and inspiration. Using the maple seed as its main inspiration, this vehicle uses a multifunctional rotating tail and nature’s elements such as solar energy, wind and gravity as its main sources of mobility.

Changfeng Motor Corporation, China
Changfeng LaBrea

Using a hollow reed design in a spiral dynamic configuration, Changfeng has created “‘LaBrea’ – Los Angeles Bio Research Project,” which utilizes a closed loop and semi-rigid torsion reed network to distribute and manage maneuvering capabilities. The entire system resembles a grasshopper, capable of running, jumping, climbing, swimming and also the ability to squeeze between narrow openings. From holographic Emoji to update traffic patterns to techno gel seat cushions that provide cooling and heating, the LaBrea mobility system adheres to the adage “Adapt or Die.”

JAC Motors R&D Center, China
Hefei concept
2013 LA Design Challenge: JAC 'Hefei' concept
JAC Motors introduces “Hefei’ (Harmonious Eco-Friendly Efficient Infrastructure), a totally rethought mobility solution inspired by the self-sufficiency of the eco-system. This mobility network offers symbiosis between vehicles and their urban environment. Idle vehicles are used to power running vehicles; a power grid supports the entire system; and automated traffic regulates itself, decreasing accidents, traffic jams and energy loss.


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