A Design 4 Life by Alex McDiarmid, United Kingdom

2007: Sharing the Road.

Drawings on Display at Michelin Challenge Design™


Aged three with a matchbox scale 1:43 Porsche 911 in the palm of his hand, he rolled the car across the living room carpet of the family home and the start of a life long love affair with the automobile began.

Born in London, UK in 1978, the son of an electrical design engineer and a private chef, Alex McDiarmid grew up with an interesting balance of creativity, engineering and design at the heart of everything he did.

Now 28, Alex is an international, multi-disciplinary designer with clients in the UK, Europe and USA.

In 2000, he obtained his BSc (Hons) Industrial Product Design degree after an internship in the French city of Lyon with Avant Première Product Design and in 2003 collected his MA Automotive Design again from the world-renowned Coventry University, UK.

From an early age Alex has been obsessed by design and creation. He confesses it is difficult to wander in the street without observing everything and having to make a mental note of all that he sees. When, in the street, his eyes stop on a shape he likes, or any miniscule details, he takes note of all the ideas generated as they come. His sketchbooks are always near by so it’s like working 24 hours a day. These little mental and visual notes and ideas often lay dormant for months until he returns to them. If the idea is still valid or even possible it tells him that it maybe a good one.

He continues exploring as many fields as possible and touching as many objects and surfaces as possible. Touch is crucial for Alex, from mobile phones to perfume bottles.

When he was a design student, he was always searching for an original and strong concept, without giving a great deal of thought about its concrete realization.

Today, his design process centers round the people that could use the vehicles and products he creates. They have become his first preoccupation. This is a natural stage of maturity as a designer for Alex.

Since graduating, Alex has not looked back with projects of an international bias including the forthcoming New Triumph TRE environmentally friendly roadster, super yachts in Monaco and a commercially sensitive electric vehicle for a client in the US. Other projects include architectural interior design, ceramic wall tile design and various graphic design concepts including album covers, brochures and posters.

With these projects in turn came the start of his publicity, being featured in the British Autocar’s 110th anniversary edition and Corus Automotive’s Emotion car magazine. Being selected as a finalist for the Michelin Challenge Design puts Alex into a higher gear as his passion and enthusiasm continues.


The human skeletal system is a natural, lightweight, monocoque chassis providing extra ordinary strength, support and protection to the life supporting organs it houses. In particular the spine, shoulder blade, rib cage and pelvic bone’s surface forms a structure. The generic car has a chassis supporting and protecting its passengers.

The vehicle is based on the following: skeleton equals chassis; organs equals passengers and protection and encapsulation is safety first. It is this thinking, inspiration and ‘Mother Nature’s natural engineering’, which provides the grounding for the vehicle.

By incorporating a space-frame, central driving position, safer seat design, improved vision, lighting, and ‘car-to-car telepathy’, the concept will aim to package a safer driving and passenger vehicle experience.

Along with the standard airbags we know today, fire prevention will be incorporated in the form of retardant reservoirs. The concepts wheels/tires will emit and leave an intelligent message for the vehicles around and following, via an incorporated smart road surface and standard GPS system enabling interaction with other road user’s vehicles of all descriptions.

Body panels made of aluminium, carbon fiber and recyclable plastics are attached to a bonded aluminium space frame. The overall design is intended to express both power and elegance, and to give the car a solid look. Not only will the concept enhance overall vehicle safety but promote an ‘eco-motive’ power/fuel and be environmentally safe.