Design gets a whole new elevation with French designer Philippe Starck’s novel gondola concept. Planned as part of a program to encourage Venetian creatives to use design as a tool for innovation, the ‘Dream of Winter Gondola’ as it is called, is an ode to all things Venice.
Featuring a traditional flat-bottomed rowing boat, the design aims to “merge the identity of Italian beauty and heritage.” It has been created for VeniSIA, a corporate accelerator program at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice that aims to inspire students and local Venetians to pursue creative actions and strategies for innovation.
Commenting on it, Starck, in a statement, said, “The gondola, by its global image, is an extremely sophisticated technology. I have a lot of admiration and respect for it [the gondola], one of the most complex boats in the world as its design is completely asymmetric, but nevertheless, its weight is perfectly balanced and can go straight even in the hardest condition.”
The concept is imagined from laminated compressed bamboo for adding durability and strength to the structure. To this, Starck added, “The laminated compressed bamboo is used for its extreme strength and rigidity, its absolute indifference for humidity, which means that it needs no maintenance and has a lifetime durability.”
Other design elements include a small, enclosed room that would allow the boat to be used during the winter months at the center, a mini electric turbine powered by solar energy and a hydro-generator, and a gyroscope – a device that will help to stabilize the boat and eliminate unnecessary swaying.
It will also feature a sliding roof forged from vacuum molded gorilla glass, a black bio-resin hull and oar made from arachnid laminated seaweed, and more. While just a prototype that may never be realized, a 3d image of “Dream of Winter Gondola” is currently being exhibited at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice’s Hub of Strategy Innovation. Care to have a peek at it?