Polestar Design Chief Calls Out Designer Irresponsibility, Suggests Better Methods

Automotive blogs are currently hullabalooing about the design of Polestar’s new O2 concept, and rightfully so; it’s a sexy-looking vehicle. (And it’s got that onboard drone.)

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However, what was of far greater interest to me was the screentime Polestar gave in the release to Maximilian Missoni, their Head of Design, who is rightly critical of the current state of product design, including automotive.

Missoni starts off by pointing out how much junk designers are currently putting out into the world, and speaks of how designers’ power must be coupled with a sense of responsibility. “We have to stop. And we have to think, before we engage and we do stuff,” he says. Missoni calls for examining and rethinking everything from the sourcing and transportation of raw materials to the production methods used to process them. “We have to question each and every one of these processes,” Missoni says.

As for what he’s doing in his own lane, Missoni explains the multiple steps he and his team took in designing the O2 to be recyclable. Aluminum panels are marked by grade and the car is apparently designed for disassembly; at the end of its life, technicians can easily sort the materials for recycling by specific type, rather than melting different aluminum grades together and compromising the material.

The company is doing away with the auto industry’s standard practice of bonding unlike materials in the interior. When you glue a veneer to a plastic, then glue metal trim around the edges of it, as below, you’ve effectively rendered all three materials unrecoverable.

In contrast, Missoni and his team have designed all of the soft-touch interior elements to be monomaterial, made of “a highly recyclable thermoplastic.” Missoni says these interior elements “can be recycled as one material, and not only that, they can be recycled over and over again.”

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Here’s Missoni’s talk in his own words. (I’ve cued the video up to the right point; if you want to start with more sexy images of the car, just rewind it to the beginning.)

Source: core77

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