Kenneth Cobonpue is a well known Filipino designer praised for his work with bamboo, rattan, and other natural fibers. Until recently, Cobonpue mainly worked with the interior design world, creating award-winning furniture, lighting and home décor pieces for his design firm.
Recently, Cobonpue started into the automotive realm, creating 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 as it wears out. Additional features on the Phoenix include eco-friendly, energy efficient LED light bulbs, which provide illumination internally and externally.
Though it has a little Swiss Family Robinson feel 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.