SE7EN by Bjorn D. H. Simundson, USA

2006: California.

Drawings on Display at Michelin Challenge Design™


Bjorn D.H. Simundson is a driven problem solver by nature, who is never satisfied with anything unless he has torn it apart and figured out how it works. For his first two and a half years at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Bjorn initially pursued Mechanical Engineering, and was a team captain for two of the school’s competitive race cars for competition in Detroit, Michigan [Formula SAE] and Phoenix, Arizona [Baja SAE] respectively. In addition to being the director of Art and Advertising for the Associated Students Program Board of UC Santa Barbara for the 1997-1998 school year, he competed in the Braun Prize competition of 1999 with the redesign of a device initially invented by his grandfather back in the 1960’s, which enables the full bathing of immobilized hospital patients in the comfort, dignity, safety and privacy of their own beds.

Realizing that his true calling was in invention, entrepreneurship and design, and to do these things it would be prudent to have a solid foundation in business, he decided to switch educational paths during his junior year of University to Business / Economics. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in 2001 from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

During his final year of undergraduate training, Bjorn was hired as a professional designer with a nation wide women’s Bath / Body / Cosmetics company based in Santa Barbara, California named Skinmarket. With 32 retail stores nationwide, his role as one of four designers responsible for all of the advertising, packaging, product design, branding and strategic planning was a valuable learning experience, one which would prove pivotal in solidifying design as his choice of career paths.

After working there for two years, Bjorn decided to return to school in order to combine his passions for automobiles, good design, innovation, invention and entrepreneurship under one umbrella of learning. He enrolled at the Academy of Art University of San Francisco studying under director Mr. Tom Matano [Mazda], pursuing a Master’s Degree in Industrial Design with a minor in Transportation Design, for which he completed his degree this past Spring, 2005.

During Graduate School, Bjorn was able to successfully close 16 clients working both independently, and in association with Shook Design Innovation of Palo Alto, CA. These projects were quite diverse in focus, ranging from designing trains for the Chicago’s Public Transit Authority which connect downtown with O’Hare and Midway airports, Formula Motorcycle race cars for Team Anvil Racing, Women’s shoes for Quintana Karena Shoes featured on the hit TV show “Made in America”, to storyboard art for movies and television commercials, website development, corporate identity and branding redesigns, consumer electronics, point of sale displays, and a host of other projects since 2002.

His Graduate Thesis Project “Sustainable Mobility” [Michelin Challenge Bibendum] was born from Bjorn’s passion for the outdoors, timeless beauty, the thrill of speed, and a responsibility to the earth to do his part to attempt to find a way to inspire people to embrace progressive thinking about our relationship with each other, and the world around us. His design is not intended to be a replacement vehicle to the automobile, but as a supplemental icon which is to be recognized as signifying a change from our current linear mode of thinking, to an infinitely sustainable system, which regards the earth as something to work with, not against.

As a certified “Car Nut” He has so far owned 14 timeless collector cars ranging from a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Hardtop, 1963 Mini Cooper, to his current newly restored vehicles, a 1969 Ford Bronco and 1963 Impala SS.


This vehicle is designed to provide a shift in philosophy within the vehicle industry from that of having a finite lifespan, (where a vehicle is purchased new, used and then eventually destroyed), to that of a sustainable system where the vehicle and its use not only are designed with longevity in mind, but also to work in conjunction with a proposed energy system of exchange, using solar input as the only element added to the equation.

This vehicle is intended to be iconic in nature, representative of this paradigm shift, and able to succeed where traditional vehicle design breaks down, (i.e. in traffic). The concept of this vehicle is to enable people to engage in a new type of challenging sport similar to “Capture the Flag”, with games to be played on the freeways of Los Angeles sometime around 2030, in a highly visible and controversial manner, in order to spread the word of progressive thinking in the most effective way possible.

Its motorcycle type size enables it to weave in and out of other vehicles with ease, coupled with its advanced steering and articulation systems which enable the deformation of the vehicle itself, mimicking a shark would theoretically yield a cycle which would be very fluid and natural in movement. Additionally, the vehicle’s form vocabulary evokes a natural impression by virtue of its layout, proportions, and strict adherence to the laws of Sacred Geometry.

The vehicle would be powered by a Hydrogen fuel cell system which would act as a power storage, transit, and conditioning system, working in harmony with one’s home, office, and the central power grid, eliminating gaseous emissions at the wheels altogether, and doing its part to reduce the overall capacity needs of the central grid itself, further reducing greenhouse emissions through fewer plants being necessary.

Hopefully, through approaching sustainability from a sports and recreation standpoint, where consumers are typically more adventurous in purchasing habits, it will be possible to introduce progressive systems and thinking into the field at a faster rate than through traditional, pragmatic means, thereby enabling these systems to be adopted earlier, and eventually make their way into the mainstream sooner than expected.