Idea & Intention

Los Angeles and the federal state of Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany have one thing in common. The number of registered cars is about 7.000.000. Assuming that one car has a surface area of about 5 square meter, there are circa 35 square kilometre of sheet metal driving around.

That's enough to cover the entire inner city of Stuttgart or half of Hollywood or 3.500 football fields in metal. Imagine this area would be covered by green space! Our goal is to explore several aspects of greened cars.

Speculative design prototypes give us the chance to debate about one kind of future, implying "what if" questions. For greenskin it was important to use tangible ideas and mix them up with challenges we are currently facing in our urban mobility.

Continuing on this train of thoughts, what would happen, if organisations with more than one vehicle would implement greenskin? Could our mobility at least negate small portions of its externalities? Revaluing public open space through greenery, countering the urban heat island effect, improving air and water quality, increase of biodiversity and balancing the carbon footprint naming a few.

Making of & Technical Setup

Series-prodcution cars don't facilitate attaching plants to them. At this point creativity and craftsmanship are asked for creating a prototype of greened cars. Several new layers are attached to the vehicle, including adhesive, woven and grown layers. The plants are sown on an adhesive textile layer through a plastic mesh. This mesh was included during the sprouting process of the plants. The roots are interwoven with net and sediment, they are the biological base of greenskin.

greenskin is based on succulent plants, from the family of sedum. One square meter of sedum plants has an annual carbon sequestration of 1,4 kg CO2. The surface of our prototype is about 5 square meters which creates a yearly potential of 7kg carbon dioxide. Other external effects that urban greenery can counter are improving air by binding particular matter, improving water quality and countering the urban heat island effect.

Sedum Plants

These plants are made for facade and roof greening and are suitable for varying wind and wheather conditions.

Matrix Layer

This net is key part for installation since roots have grown though it. As well as the sown attachment to the adhesive layer.


The sediment is tightly interwoven with roots and base blanket, it provides the biological base of the plants.


A natural Filament is layered underneath the sediment, this helps to contain sediment, water and sability.

Textile Adhesive

The textile adhesive layer is used to apply all above layers to the car, since the plants and everything else are sown onto it.

Protective Film

Since it is unclear how car finish reacts to constant biological activity we decided to include a protective layer.


The car's bofy which is covered by plants and only partly visible.

Reactions & Impact

Our goal is to explore several aspects of greened cars. While technical feasibility is central, we also want to start the discussion and survey public opinion of unused greening potential. Prototypes are starting points for discussing and exploring initial effects.

greenskinning vehicles won't be the solution to our mobility related problems. We are certain that greenskin can't replace public greenery. We intend to show the potential of an unused space while exploring technical feasibility of utilizing it to make our cities a better place.

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