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 meters, there are circa 35 square kilometers 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 covered by green space! Our goal is to explore several aspects of greened cars.

Speculative design prototypes give us the chance to debate various different futures, raising "what if" questions. For greenskin it was important to use tangible ideas and mix them up with the challenges we currently face in our urban mobility.

Continuing this train of thought, what would happen if organisations with more than one vehicle implemented greenskin? Could our mobility solution at least negate small portions of its external cost? Revaluing public open spaces through greenery, countering the urban heat island effect, improving air and water quality, increasing biodiversity and balancing the carbon footprint, to name but a few.

The Making of & Technical Setup

It's not easy to attach plants to series production cars. At this point creativity and craftsmanship are asked for, to create a prototype for 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 both net and sediment, and 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 conversion of 7kg carbon dioxide. Other external effects that urban greenery can counter are improving air by binding particulate 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 weather conditions.

Matrix Layer

This net is a key part of the installation since roots grow though it. As well as the sewn attachment to the adhesive layer.

Sediment

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

Filament

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

Textile Adhesive

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

Protective Film

Since it is unclear how the car's finish will react to constant biological activity, we decided to include a protective layer.

Body

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 assess public opinion of this unused greening potential. These prototypes are simply 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 the technical feasibility of utilizing it to make our cities better places.

People involved

Share on

Press kit