Polestar Design: Imagine this.

The future. As a time marker it’s... Not very concrete. As an idea it's more like: everything can, nothing must. Polestar has now announced the winners of its second global design competition. And if it were up to us, one or the other design would be a must in in the future...
Text Jack Weil
Photo Polestar

The brief for the 2021 up-and-coming designers was simply: "Progressive." That doesn't rule out much at first. Even for retro, you can still get your act together with a halfway reasonable chain of reasoning. But the young and up-and-coming designers were not satisfied with that, especially with a brand like Polestar, which stands for so many things, but not for retro.

In any case, it was much more important to include considerations for overcoming the current climate crisis. The design vision didn't necessarily have to be a car, but it had to embody the spirit of Polestar and show that design can be the driving force for positive change. "It was both inspiring and impressive to interact with so many emerging and experienced talents. We've seen designs evolve from creative sketches to 3D models, and we’ve seen that the design world is a melting pot of extraordinary personalities," says Maximilian Missoni, Head of Design at Polestar.

Hundreds of submissions, designed by a truly international mix of designers, were eventually received. Ideas included buildings, aircraft, cars, driverless delivery vehicles and electric bicycles.

The winner in the "Professional" category was David Vultaggio from France with his design concept "HUB" - a new garage concept for the 21st century as a combination of brand experience and a "place to be" while charging a vehicle. The design includes a Polestar hydrogen seaplane, a Polestar electric bicycle and the Polestar Precept announced in 2020. "HUB" taps into the fact that car brands are moving away from just designing and manufacturing vehicles to offer a complete ecosystem of mobility solutions and different ways to access energy.

Real-world examples of this include Polestar collaborations from last year such as Re:Move, a delivery solution for the so-called "last mile," and the Makka - Polestar Edition, an electric motorcycle developed together with the Swedish electric motorcycle company CAKE.

In the student category, Mingwei Liu from China won with his design "Glad to be dirty" - a car that tackles local pollution with on-board air filters visible from the outside. The vehicle has a central side panel that displays the increasingly dirty air filter, highlighting how much the car has cleaned the environment while driving. It allows the user to take pride in driving a "dirty car."

Praise went to Kristian Talvitie of Finland for his architectural idea "'KOJA'." KOJA is housed in a tree canopy, allowing for true immersion in a natural environment. This makes the wilderness more accessible to people who would otherwise have to travel far to experience it. The design maximizes views of the treetops with a panoramic glass façade and minimizes ecological impact through a space-efficient, low resource-intensity design.

KOJA is housed in a tree canopy, allowing for true immersion in a natural environment. This makes the wilderness more accessible to people who would otherwise have to travel far to experience it.

An exclusive feature of the global Polestar Design Contest is personal coaching and support from the Polestar design team. Participants first submitted sketches, which were evaluated by Head of Design Maximilian Missoni and a jury of Polestar designers. Finalists were then invited to digital coaching and consultation sessions to help develop their ideas.

The winning designs in each category will be realized as 1:5 scale models and exhibited worldwide as a traveling Polestar Spaces exhibition. Winners will receive a trophy and a trip to Polestar headquarters in Sweden to experience both the brand and the cars up close, as well as testing at the Hällered proving ground.

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