x-pro 03 by Luu Chan Ninh, Sweden

2004: China.

Scale Model and Illustrations on Display at Michelin Challenge Design™


Luu Chan Ninh is from Norway and has recently graduated as Masters Degree Transportation Design at Umeå University (Institute of Design), Sweden. Current location: Oslo.


Designing a car for China, more so with China than any other society, it is not possible to detach modern China from its history. It is crucial to understand China’s history in order to understand its present and its possible future.

Chinese cultural values

Chinese culture is based on three cornerstones, Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism. Only Buddhism can be seen as a religion, whereas Taoism and Confucianism have the character of philosophies.

Especially Taoism. It’s has been a major influence for every Chinese lifestyle. When we are talking about Chinese culture, we can’t detach Feng Shui. This word is better known in western architecture world. The word’s originates from Taoism, and has been practised for more than 5,000 years. Because of that valuable resource Taoism representing Chinese culture, it has been an important inspiration and focus for my design solution.

Concept description:  A Car for China – based on Feng Shui philosophy!


The most salient feature of the exterior design is the circular window. In Chinese culture, everything has a symbolism and a meaning. In Chinese Architecture a circle, is a classic element and used commonly in doors, gates (also called ”moon-gate”), furniture, windows, etc. It stands for infinity, luck, entirely, ever rolling, happiness, etc. According to feng shui energy flows; the door of a house is like a mouth, most of the energy is flowing through this. It filters the energy between the outer and the inner world. By using a circle as the predominant element of the car-door, I can transfer the positive energy, chi, into the car. By this way, I create harmony and balance, and counteract the negative energy, which goes through the windshield window.

Red and gold is two most important colors in China. In some case, they use color, especially red, to protect themselves from the outer world. As you can see, a red light is attached inside air-intake in front the windshield. These lights also connect with the inner light of interior. (* see interior image nr.2).

Additionally, this light is synchronized with the driver’s behavior. Different colors represent different moods of the driver. For instance blue light represents calm.

The use of Green tinted glass also has its symbolism. Green symbolize youth, integrates the car with bustling and energetic metropolis and its surrounding Architecture.

The rack is a part of the exterior. It’s detachable. The idea is to give the user possibility to store longer and larger objects like: heavy luggage, ski, big trunks… both behind and on top of the vehicle. Since this car is designed for the unique life of the metropolis and activities therein, when shopping, he or she cans bring the rucksack or suitcase everywhere.

On the side view and rearview of the design, notice the big red light in tailgate. It is inspired by feng shui the symbol. According to feng shui trainee, all the power of feng shui is laying in this. It’s there to protect the driver behind.

There are illustrations that show the tailgate opening. Also here the gate is separated in two parts. It is easy to use in dense traffic as well as for loading. And to store long and big goods, like timber, the under the supporting part.

When going out, for instance picnic, by unfold the under-part, it cans be use as a table.

Showing how the window opens. It consists of two parts. The upper part rotates on axle in the middle. The under part is fixed. The door opens by pushing it sideways. It’s to ease parking and improve egress and ingress as well as loading.


The interior is designed to make the seat continually with the rest of interior. As you can see, it is asymmetry. The Chinese fan in the middle, can pull up and down with the same axle as the window glass. It’s to protect against the sun.

As described, the negative energy flows through the windshield. To obstruct this energy, I placed three red source lights, on the floor, in the same direction. But here, it breaks before they meet. As you can see, the light flows upwards in front of the control panel. The idea is to bring the energy into the interior and change the mood using light (on the floor) and color. By doing this, I can balance interior energy equally from right to left (using the window) and from the front to the rear of the driver/passenger compartment (windshield to tailgate). Since the space of the compact car is very small. By designing the control panel like construction elements, give the user a feeling of roominess.