Innovation That Matters

Venice’s environmental challenges are well-documented and range from rising sea levels to complex waste management needs, intensive agriculture and a lack of energy efficiency. | Photo source Starck

A new gondola concept powered by renewable energy

Architecture & Design

Burano-based architect and designer Philippe Starck has been invited to create an inspirational piece to mark the beginning of Venice’s Sustainability Innovation Accelerator programme, also known as VeniSIA

Spotted: The programme focuses on encouraging local individuals and organisations to build solutions for the city’s future. Venice’s environmental challenges are well-documented and range from rising sea levels to complex waste management needs, intensive agriculture and a lack of energy efficiency. 

Named the Dream of Winter Gondola, the conceptual design is made from laminated compressed bamboo. The lightweight material is strong and resistant to damp with a gyroscope providing balance at the front. A small electric turbine powers the boat, with energy generated by the sun and water. Best of all for riders during the winter months, a small enclosed room provides warmth and protection from the elements.  

A 3D drawing of the concept is on display at the University of Venice’s Hub of Strategy Innovation. Over the next several years, an assortment of experimental ideas and concepts will be tested in Venice as a real-life laboratory. Their objective is to help the city-state meet five crucial sustainable development goals. 

A number of designers and innovators have been inspired recently to reimagine modes of public transport, with Italian trams providing easy social distancing and hydraulic seats making travel more accessible in Hong Kong.  

Written By: Keely Khoury

Explore more: Sustainability | Travel and Tourism

Website: starck.com

Contact: starck.com/contact

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