The Car-Shoe Continuum
Back in 2008, BMW revealed a concept vehicle that is still revolutionary all these years later: It was called the GINA Light Visionary Model, with the acronym standing for “Geometry and Functions In ‘N’ Adaptions.” Fundamentally, the vehicle is based on a moveable substructure and a flexible textile outer cover.
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Back in 2008, BMW revealed a concept vehicle that is still revolutionary all these years later: It was called the GINA Light Visionary Model, with the acronym standing for “Geometry and Functions In ‘N’ Adaptions.”
Fundamentally, the vehicle is based on a moveable substructure and a flexible textile outer cover. The movements of the substructure are controlled by the driver through electro- and electro-hydraulic controls. The skin then moves accordingly. So, for example, the overall shape of the two-seat roadster could be modified to make it more aerodynamic for purposes of speed.
The material selected by BMW Group Design has a variety of characteristics, including expansion-resistance (the ability to be modified without stretching; i.e., were it to be otherwise, a few times adjusted could lead to sagging skin), and translucence, so that, for example, the taillights are visible through the skin, though the skin is not transparent.
GINA hasn’t really gone anywhere—until now.
But not as a car. Rather, as a shoe.
Specifically, X-CAT DISC from Puma.
“The approach was to look at every aspect of making a shoe and to try and reimagine it. Freeing yourself of what is here now can be an enjoyable and rewarding exercise. Typically, it also speeds up change,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design.
While that same approach was taken with the car, execution for an athletic shoe is evidently more do-able.
There is a layer of GINA material that forms the exterior of the shoe, which is said to wrap around the wearer’s foot “like a second skin.”
“We have transformed the essence of the shape-shifting GINA car into a streamlined and elegant shoe,” says Torsten Hochstetter, Global Creative Director at Puma.
Just think: eight years between GINA and X-CAT DISC.
Imagine how long it will take before there is a production automotive variant of GINA.
By James Gaffney, Product Engineer, Precision Grinding and Patrick D. Redington, Manager, Precision Grinding Business Unit, Norton Company (Worcester, MA)
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