Kenneth Cobonpue is a celebrated Filipino designer known for his work with bamboo, rattan, and other natural fibers. Until recently, Cobonpue had stuck mainly to the interior design world, creating award-winning furniture, lighting and home décor pieces for his design firm.
But recently, Cobonpue delved into the automotive realm, designing the world’s first biodegradable vehicle, called the Phoenix. Though the engine and wheels are made of longer-lasting materials, the “skin” that houses the vehicle is built mainly from bamboo and rattan, and can easily be reabsorbed by the planet. “This project attempts to unveil the future of green vehicles using woven skins from organic fibers mated to composite materials and powered by green technology,” says Mr. Cobonpue. The skin is designed to last 5-10 years, and can easily be replaced once it wears out. Additional features on the Phoenix include eco-friendly, energy efficient LED light bulbs, which provide illumination internally and externally.
Though it might feel a little Swiss Family Robinson to be tooling around town in a bamboo roadster, this invention—along with the inclusion of LED fixtures—shows that forward-thinking designers are prioritizing a cleaner planet. We’re proud that LED lights are a part of developments like this one.