Automotive Renaissance

For his masters diploma project conducted in Citroen’s Design Center (ADN), designer Antonin Maire D’Eglise set out to really break some new ground with his C-BIONIC concept. The hypothesis of the project is that in the near future, mankind will have depleted the natural resources so heavily relied upon in the automotive industry. This will lead way to a second renaissance, where de-materialization and genetic science will be used as building blocks in a more humanistic and poetic world.

A genetically modified tree is used as the chassis of the vehicle, and the rest of the body is made from highly biodegradable materials. The tree was chosen not just as a symbol of environmental conscience, but because it would require little engineering, and it is renewable. Ironically, instead of creating pollution the tree absorbs carbon dioxide and emits oxygen. Each C-BIONIC has been designed to have a minimal material loss lifecycle of just 3 years, after which it returns to the earth. The only part salvaged is the electric engine which is reused in the next vehicle.

Designer: Antonin Maire D’Eglise


  • Eric says:

    HAHAHAhahahaha!!!! I’m really sorry for laughing, but no. This is a little too far with the tree chassis. Peeps are going to claim it’s a sponge for water/a termite magnet/whatever, I’m just going to assume the “genetic” altering covers all that. Even then, it is going to weigh a ton (maybe literally!) And if it’s going to be designed to be lighter, then really what’s the point of it? If they claim it was chosen because it requires little engineering, what about the genetic engineering required to make it grow so specifically? And if it’s meant to grow in an organic, natural matter, then imagine the work load to make a unique body for each unique chassis! That would require a lot of engineering! If it’s going to be covered in “highly biodegradable” material, then why not just make the whole thing out of that, and still reuse the engine? It also states it produces oxygen, forgive me if I’m wrong but I thought photosynthesis happens while the plant is still alive, do I have to water my car then? Even if it’s feasible in the future, it’s still seems inefficient to incorporate a tree as the chassis… Another frivolous reason to use something just because it’s renewable. Let me guess bamboo is version 2.0!?!! P.s Love the asymmetry in the body design! Great renders, love the color choices 😉

    • ere time says:

      dude.. do u think they were serious? genetic engineering? you get trees to grow in different shapes by constricting them like bonzai… its just a idea dog

  • Noah says:

    And the other thing is, doesn’t a tree need leaves to grow? Also the thing only lasts 2 years? Cool design, but no way is it possible/practial.

  • zippyflounder says:

    ummm any idea how much iron, silicon, and alumium we have,the earth is just chock full of it and with 2 of them easy to (and currently) recycled. I think his premise was silly, so was the design.

  • Keith says:

    Is this really all it takes to get your master’s diploma? I think I need to go back to school before something changes.

  • Jason says:

    I respect ideas for more sustainable mfg, but how is cutting down trees in mass quantities(aka deforestation) supposed to be more efficient or sustainable? You may then say, “But the trees are genetically produced so we wont be cutting down forests” but this is worse because all that time/energy that went in to genetically producing each tree to be a certain car chassis is now grossly wasted in something that isn’t even supposed to last 4 years.(By the way don’t trees take 5+ yrs to grow?) That guy was right for laughing, and he was also right that THE RENDERINGS ARE BADA$$.

    When this car starts to decompose, can you still drive another 1,000 miles?

  • Carl says:

    step away from the crack pipe…

  • Chung Dha says:

    Uhm looks like it just came out of HALO game.

  • DigitalRed says:

    Wow. That’s a fantastically short-sighted idea, clearly by someone who doesn’t actually understand manufacturing. Sure it’s biodegradable, but with such an absurdly short lifespan, the manufacturing impact will far outweigh the benefits. And carting around a giant tree?? It’s not even chassis shaped! It’s just a huge log! It’s going to be the most energy-inefficient car ever. Even if it is powered by wishes and dreams.

    Wouldn’t it be better to instead use light, strong, long-lasting materials which are easily separated and recycled? Make the line of cars modular so working parts from old models fit with new ones? Set up reclamation depots run by the manufacturer to resell used components?

    Is this guy even TRYING?

  • p says:

    form BEYOND function, people. C’mon!

    Of course it’s impractical for this period in time- that’s not the point. Do you criticize Daniel Simon because his vehicles are not grounded in reality? Almost nothing that comes out of transportation programs today is destined for actual production even decades down the road, perhaps never. These projects are proof to these students’ institutions and potential employers that their designs are not bound by the limitations of our world as we see it now. Antonin’s hypothesis was clearly contingent upon the existence of a future technology that hasn’t been dreamed of.

    This is what it means to push the envelope. To design a car that is entirely production ready given the current state of technology? please. that is child’s play. The real vehicles of today were imagined years ago.

    This concept absolutely blew my mind- not because it was believable, but because Antonin said “what if…”

    but yeah, I 3rd the asymmetry being awesome. But I don’t think these are renderings…

  • TonTon says:

    I believe P is absolutely right! We already have the industry bounding limits for all of us SO CALLED designers. And a diploma project should be boundaries free!!! And I AM not going against the experience carried by mr. ZippyFlounders (did I wrote right?) And I also believe cars do not grow in trees. But “what if”?

  • pl says:

    this a very stupid design . I sure the car is ugly like the guy who design this .

  • will says:

    looks like it has been stolen, inspired whatever directly from the motionpicture the final fantasy – the spirits within…..

    say no more

  • Ryan says:

    I neither see this working nor think this could EVER be safe.

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