Nissan Project :  Grow Your Own

Mass Customisation

Bio-engineering  |  New Manufacturing Systems  |  Consumer Driven Identity

Project Scenario

"Anything that can be made from a plant can now be made by a microbe in a vat."
Jay Keasling


What if ... cars are not made they are grown?

Emerging is a new synthetic future where manufacturing processes and most importantly materials are radically different from what they are today; Synthetic Biology "is a new approach to engineering biology, generally defined as the application of engineering principles (for instance, standardization and modularity) to the complexity of biology.  Biology has become a new material for engineering - a new technology for design and construction." [1]

Vehicles in this imagined future are constructed to order, grown in vats or from seeds, developed by designers, engineers and scientists collaboratively.  Nissan design studios are now laboratories where new materials and shapes are developed and genetically tested.  The best structural features of nature are used to produce the strongest new composites.  For example bacteria are used to cover template forms wih Abalone skeletons and genetically altered lichen grows over the frame to convert harmful gases into fuel for the cars.  This new system drastically reduces the resources used int the chain of manufacture and as such is as close to a zero waste production model as possible.

Customisation happens routinely through the materials' nature, cells want to reproduce, as such no two cars, made from the same template or otherwise, are identical once grown.  Gone are car dealerships to be replaced by Nissan 'Grow Centres' where customers, with the standardization of biological parts commonplace, are able to purchase the basic models and have them customised at will. 





This project was one of four produced for an in-house exhibition for Nissan Design London looking at the future of sustainability in the automotive industry 2010 – 2100. 

The theme explored by Grow Your Own was 'Mass Customisation'