Switch by Harry West Henriksen, New Zealand

2010: Electrifying! Beautiful, Innovative & Radiant.

Scale Model on Display at Michelin Challenge Design™


Harry Henriksen, 22, is currently completing his fourth year with a Degree in Transport Design at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand, with an expected graduation early in 2010.

Leaving secondary school, he honestly had no idea of what he wanted to do but felt compelled to further his education. He remembesrs thinking that whatever he did it was going to do something that he would enjoy no matter what. At an open day at Massey University, he watched a graduate from the design campus sketching and rendering concept vehicles and that’s when he knew where he wanted to be.

Entering the course he had no real expectations of what he would personally get out of this particular degree and as it was a very new course with his year being the 5th class to enter, there was not a large amount of material to gauge by. However, throughout he found he had a real passion for design in general enjoying practically all assignments. At one point he came to a crossroads between visual communications and continuing Transport design, but he stuck with Transport design and has never regretted it.

Throughout the course he has touched base on practically all areas of design but New Zealand is such a small country in comparison and there is no real automotive design sector. He feels there is still so much to learn. Therefore, next year after graduation he hopes to either find a job in automotive design whether it is in New Zealand or abroad, or continue his education with a Masters in Transport design or in another type of complementary course.

This year he has really taken on a positive attitude to his degree with the end of it so close, receiving an ‘A’ average throughout. He has also joined Toastmasters International which has greatly improved his skills overall.


The Switch is a futuristic solution to beating everyday traffic by safely and effectively slipping between lanes of traffic with the most advance technologies in car-to-car and car-to-environment communication.

This is intended to dramatically cut back the time consumed in everyday commuting, but at the same time create a unique experience for the rider.

A perfect collaboration of car and motorbike, the SWITCH has the capability of morphing between each, via fully electrically driven components, extending both the armature and front wheel apart whilst lowering the passenger compartment. Both rear wheels are spread apart slightly also to maintain the overall physical balance of the vehicle.

By performing this, not only is drag reduced but the ride is considerably more comfortable for the solo occupant, especially on longer journeys.
Research has also proven that from this transformation riders would theoretically feel safer knowing that, if an accident does occur, the impact will be absorbed and occur a safe distance from the central compartment protecting them.

The wheel design is itself unique to the Switch. Each wheel is attached to its own central rim and arrayed around that are ten organic shock absorbers, each with its own airless contact pad. The benefits of this are increased contact with the road as well as a softer ride.

Maintaining strong links to the motorcycle industry, the Switch allows the driver a front laid riding position, mimicking the exterior stance but also insuring the experience intended.