Violet Roadster

OAA Award of Excellence, 2006.

When the client first requested the design and fabrication of this artifact, a challenging set of objectives was agreed upon. Ergonomics, safety, durability, environmental sustainability and design expression were determined to be important considerations.

The context is the main floor of a two-storey house. The client currently has access to only about 60% of the available area. She hopes to be able to have access to the remainder of the area in the near future, and has already made inquiries to this effect.

Customized biometrics relating to stand-over height, fore-aft balance and arm reach were determined with input from the client. Vehicle control and stability are enhanced by the wide front wheel stance, while a narrow rear wheel track allows smooth and uninterrupted push-kick motions.

Maneuvering in tight spaces is easy with the tight radius steering design system. The sprung rear suspension provides a smooth ride, reduces noise and is fun for bouncing on. For safety the rear wheels have fairings, and acute angles were avoided in the overall design of the car body.

Fabricated using renewable and recyclable materials including solid poplar, maple and aluminum with water-based colour stain and hand-rubbed tung oil (a vegetable oil) finish to reduce evaporation of solvents into the atmosphere. In use, this vehicle produces zero emissions.

The design was developed with the intermittent cooperation of the client. At times during construction the client appeared to lose interest, however enthusiasm was regained once the project was completed and the client now reports a high level of satisfaction with the final product.