Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Center: Carlsbad.
Beneath the Californian sun.
A match for the future.
A laboratory technician gently strokes a plant that has only just sprouted from the earth. When the small plant is fully grown, it will be transformed into a completely biodegradable chassis. And fuel. For it has sprouted from a seed that has been genetically programmed specifically for this purpose – in a Mercedes-Benz cultivation lab. This or something similar could be how the future looks. Or rather the transportation of the future, shown here in the guise of a BIOME, if it were up to the designers at the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Center in Carlsbad, USA. The oldest of all the external Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Centers was opened in 1990. For its 20 employees it is a privilege to be able to work on the development of mobility concepts for the future.
That typical Californian attitude to life influences the location as much as its closeness to Hollywood. Accordingly, a particularly special form of creativity has evolved in Carlsbad which has also left its mark on Mercedes-Benz series design.
Creative Director, Hubert Lee freely admits that Hollywood ranks highly with regard to automobile designs: "Films such as Tron or I, Robot are a never-ending source of inspiration for designers". However the proximity to the heart of the western-world's film industry is more than a purely mental resource for the small team. Every now and again an actual co-operation with screenwriters does develop. For example in the film "Silver Lightning" whereby two intelligent crash-test dummies from the future glide through automobile epochs in a futuristic Silver Arrow and literally drive the car up the wall in order to get out of harm's way in the beautiful cult car.
All of the other means of transport in the film, such as helicopters and transporters, also originate from the creative heads in Carlsbad. The unusual car chase was awarded the prize for "Best Animation" at the L.A. Design Challenge 2011.
The new law
of the road.
The L.A. Design Challenge also regularly poses questions which do not only play a role on the big screen. For example the question of how a police vehicle might look in the year 2025. The answer that came from Carlsbad was the Vision
Ener-G-Force in 2012. Its principles have a future: it stores recycled water in tanks on the roof which is then converted in the "hydro-tech converter" for fuel cell operation.
The Mercedes-Benz Advanced
Design Center in Carlsbad
The Californian dream of the flow of things.
The team perceives the Californian way of life as a pure elixir for creativity: variety, a radiant sun and an easy attitude to life – that is what constitutes the proverbial Californian "flow". In 2007 the Carlsbad-based designers managed to express this ease in a car: with the Silver Flow. The design allows the owner to redesign the vehicle depending on his mood. At the press of a button, the metal particles can be arranged so that they can change into different models at any time. The Silver Flow can even make itself smaller when searching for a parking space. As a result, in future, unpleasant everyday worries will be reduced to relicts of the past. However the Californian dream remains. And with it the belief that everything is possible. It is a guarantee that the world can continue to look forward to innovative designs from Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design in the future.