Polestar Design Contest 2021 Reveals Some Inspired Ideas For Cars And Transport

Polestar Design Contest 2021 Reveals Some Inspired Ideas For Cars And Transport

“It’s a chance for us to connect with the community but also give back,” says Maximilian Missoni, Polestar’s head of design. “Not only through the prizes that we hand out, but especially through the unique process of the contest,” he tells me on email. “The shortlisted entries receive coaching by our designers and, in the last round, 3D modelling support by a group of students from the Gothenburg School of Surface Design. This helps them to realize their vision in the best possible way. It is a unique effort which shows our commitment to the community and how much we enjoy the creative process ourselves.”

Missoni is referring to the latest Polestar Design Contest. Now in its second year, the annual event invites both professional and student designers to showcase inventive, out-of-the-box thinking as a way to encourage positive change in society, namely the climate emergency.

The overarching theme for 2021 is “progressive” with a focus on how, through intelligent design, an object elevates from its primal role, to be a force for change — perhaps even help improve society. What’s more, the design vision need not be a conventional car, but rather embody the spirit of Polestar.

Hundreds of entries were received from a global mix of designers with ideas ranging from buildings, aircraft, cars, driverless delivery vehicles and electric bikes. The Polestar team have narrowed these down to a shortlist of ten, from which overall winners in the professional and student categories were chosen.

David Vultaggio from France picked up the accolade in the professional category. His “H_UB” proposes a complete ecosystem of mobility solutions and different ways to access energy. Vultaggio’s garage concept is imagined for mid-21st century by offering a building that combines a brand experience center and a relaxing space to unwind or work whilst charging your vehicle. The design features multi-transport solutions with Polestar in mind to include a hydrogen seaplane, electric bicycle and the marque’s Precept conceptual study from 2020.

A winner in the student category is an intriguing little vehicle that helps clean the air through its externally visible air filters. “Glad to be dirty” by Mingwei Liu from China has a simple geometric form that is an architectural interpretation of the Polestar design theme. The core side panel displays the dirty air filter to, in a theatrical fashion, show how much the car can potentially clean the surrounding environment on its daily commutes.

An honorable mention has also gone to Kristian Talvitie of Finland. Housed in a tree canopy, his “Koja” architectural construction provides an immersive experience in a natural environment for people who live far from the wilderness. Talvitie’s tree house design maximizes a treetop view with a panoramic glazed facade and minimizes ecological impact with a space-efficient, low resource-intensity design. The general idea is to discourage travel but encouraging intimacy with nature.

“It was both inspirational and humbling to interact with so much emerging and experienced talent,” says Missoni. “We saw the designs evolve from creative sketches to 3D models and show that the design world is a melting pot of exceptional individuals.”

Juan-Pablo Bernal, senior design manager for Polestar and the founder of the contest adds: “Designing for progress — where that might mean creating something that advances society in some way — was always going to be more of a challenge than most contests. I am amazed at how creative the responses were to the brief.”

The winning designs is available to view virtually via an in-car app in the Polestar 2, on the brand website and in-person in select Polestar Spaces around the world.

Take a look at some other inventive collaborations in the car industry: Ares and sculptor Hubert Phipps, BMW Art Residency at Paris Photo and at Frieze Art London, and see Polestar star in Balenciaga’s virtual fashion show