Visionary architect seeks to humanize transport

It might look like a tricycle made for astronauts that deploys from a Mars Rover with the sole purpose of manual soil sample collection. But despite its mechanical appearance, the Yahama 05GEN was actually designed to be slow, social, and serene—striking the perfect balance between fresh air and personal space.

The latest work from highly decorated conceptual architect Toyo Ito, the 05GEN diametrically opposes the logic driving most other transportation projects. Think of the Hyperloop where riders will be strapped into rigid seats, and blasted across continents at breakneck speeds—versus a virtually effortless pedal (thanks to the engine's electric assist), slow enough to warmly greet the neighbours, and separated from nature only by the vehicle's thin solar shield.

   Credit: Yamaha

In any rolling vehicle—future, past or present, tires are absolutely integral in ensuring a safe and steady ride. And when designfabrik (a design lab dedicated to providing products in early development stages with innovative materials) first heard of the 05GEN, they knew their thermoplastic polyurethanes Infinergy and Elastollan would be a perfect fit, both functionally, and aesthetically.

“We help translate ideas into daily products that improve people's quality of life,” stated Andy Postlethwaite, Senior Vice President of BASF Performance Materials Asia Pacific. “By offering our consulting services on color, material, and finish development, we helped Yamaha realize their design concept.”

Sticking to their motorcycle roots, the Yamaha 05GEN will help riders lean into turns to avoid any risk of tipping. And with only a limited personal storage compartment, the bike is compact enough to navigate through a plaza.

You can check out the 05GEN from now until July 15TH, 2017 at the Toyo Ito Museum of Architecture on Japan's Omishima Island.

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