AirSP by Komal G and Amogh Barakol, India and Cuili Yan, China

2019: Inspiring Mobility


Komal G (Bangalore, India)
Cuili Yan (Sichuan, China)
Amogh Barakol (Bangalore, India)


Emotion – Freedom
City – Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo is one of the world’s most populated megacities in the world and the economic capital of Brazil. It is home to a culturally diverse demographic which includes some of the biggest Italian & Japanese origin communities outside of their respective countries. Many native Brazilians moved to the city as well, looking for better economic opportunities. But the harsh reality of the city caught a lot of newcomers by surprise. With every adversity, their sense of freedom diminished. Why did they move to the city in the first place?

There are many factors which cause life in Sao Paulo to be less than ideal. For the scope of the project we focus on the ones which affect the way people get around in the city. High prices and an inefficient housing policy pushed new citizens to the periphery of the city. A lot of people began to live in informal settlements, most of which are still in the process of being recognized and provided with adequate public amenities. One of these amenities is convenient access to the city center. All of Sao Paulo’s resources such as jobs, education, healthcare etc. are concentrated in the central area. The unexpected & unplanned growth of the city is the reason why they are not available across the city. As a result, millions of people travel back & forth from the center every day. This leads to massive traffic congestion & absolutely cramped public transit systems during rush hour. Research shows paolistanos (citizens of Sao Paulo) have an average commute time of more than 4 hours every day. While most people prefer to take public transport, they instead choose the comfort of their cars while stuck in gridlock for hours on end. Add to this the fact that some people have to work two jobs to make ends meet & the scenario seems bleak.

Such challenges have turned people into slaves of a rigorous routine which leaves them with no choice and no freedom at the end of the day. Airscape is a solution we designed to alleviate the suffering of commuters and simultaneously give them back their sense of freedom. It is inspired by the people of Sao Paulo & the city they live in. The system aims to provide convenient access to the entire city to all of its citizens. In doing so, we wish ease the discomfort of a long commute in an already dreary scenario.

The USP of the system is the choice given to commuters. They can chose to skip stations rather than stopping at each one. This gets rid of the anxiety one would feel when their journey is delayed on a stressful day. This is accomplished by having two adjacent lines which allows two modules to meet between stations & allow passengers to move between them. When the modules meet, passengers will have to either stay on the main module A or to transfer to the secondary module B. The assignment of function of each module is made using logic & a majority/ minority principle to make the system as efficient as possible. The larger, primary module A is always occupied by the majority while the smaller, secondary module B is for the minority.

The exterior features a multi-layered glass capsule design styled in a clean, contemporary manner which serves an aesthetic & functional purpose. The cocooned structure is a representation of the cultural diversity of Sao Paulo. It also keeps the sun’s heat & UV radiation at bay. Meanwhile, the bottom panel serves as a canvas for the budding artists of the city. Sao Paulo is an artistic hub and this gesture is an encouraging nod to upcoming talent, aiming to promote their work & inspire people passing below the vehicles. The modules run on a monorail made using an advanced rubber composite (ARC) by Michelin which encloses magnetic levitation infrastructure for propulsion.

Airscape’s interior has two zones. A standing- only area in the front and a seating area in the back. The front end houses a smart display interface which passengers can interact with for a fun, immersive experience of the city. It is Ideal for children & tourists. The back area features staggered seating which is designed to ease visual rigidity & allows people to sit as they please. This lets people sit in any manner which best suits their feeling while travelling. There are high benches for a bar-stool like experience, moderate-level seats for everyday comfort & low seating for a more laid back, relaxed mood. All this is in addition to the unhindered, transparent view of the city that each and every passenger gets from anywhere in the vehicle.

We hope such a system can create reform in the city & remind people why they chose to move to the budding city that is Sao Paulo. We hope to reinforce their aspirations & inspire strength in the face of any challenge. Airscape wishes paolistanos to live free and dream big.


Komal.G – Strate École de Design, Paris
Cuili Yan – Strate École de Design, Paris
Amogh Barakol – Istituto Europeo di Design, Turin