Strappy by Thierry Dumaine, France

2007: Sharing the Road.

Drawings on Display at Michelin Challenge Design™


Thierry Dumaine, 47, lives in Nice, France and has been a student of the arts for more than 20 years. He is currently an art teacher for children and he is interested in all types of design including graphic, transportation, environmental and product.


“Strappy” was developed with two ideas. The first one was that the entire car is an airbag and the second idea is that safety is also effective inside as outside.

The tires and the interior are made on the same system. They are made with a lot of thin straps. The strips can react to a magnetic force. The force is generated by each motor in the four wheels. The magnetic force must inflate the strips to give them the same function than an airbag. The force is activated when the multiple sensors in the car see an inevitable obstacle.

The strips are very rigid when they are in the low position (standard). In this mode, the strips of the tires react like standard tires.

When the strips are in the high position (crash), they are very soft. In this mode, the strips in the interior can’t hurt the passengers. This particularity is given by the extreme elasticity of the material of the strips.

The wheels must be very big to protect the entire body of the car and the entire body of pedestrian. The interior is very light and the dashboard is minimal to avoid anything to knock passengers. The dashboard can move up when the strips increase to avoid hurting the passengers. The body is articulated in his center to give more solutions to preserve safety in a big crash. The safety is optimized for three adults.

Specific features of “Strappy” are: the tires and the interior are made with modifiable strips; there is no air in the tires; four bases are articulated around the body; each base is autonomous (tank, motor, wheels) and each tank is available for any sort of energy (fuel, gas, hydrogen, nuclear, water, etc.).