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Middlesex team helps build stunning ‘glass car’

A top designer has worked with Middlesex University staff and graduates to create a striking driverless car - made of stained glass.

Stained glass carThe Middlesex Product Design team assisted British artist, designer and inventor Dominic Wilcox to turn his creative dream into reality.

The design is based on the idea that, in the future, we might all be using completely automated, driverless and computer-controlled vehicles. And with safety requirements transformed as a result, car designers will have much more freedom in which materials they choose to use.

Wilcox was inspired by the beauty of the intricate stained glass used in Durham Cathedral, and wanted to bring the concept into a contemporary design project. And so his stained glass, driverless car was born.

He contacted the Product Design department at Middlesex University, and they worked with him to help create the car. The arched, 'skeleton' structure frame, that would support the glass itself, was created by the team and was a critical element of the design.

Once the frame was complete, the glass was attached in Wilcox's workshop, and then the Middlesex Product Design team designed and manufactured the chassis and opening mechanisms.

Middlesex University Senior Lecturer Wyn Griffiths said: "Exploring big ideas, testing them, making them 'real' and making them work is what we do in product design at Middlesex. Working with Dominic, who's an inspiring creator, and applying our methods on such an exciting project has been challenging, but very satisfying."

The Middlesex team was made up of staff members Wyn Griffiths and Neil Melton, and recent product design graduates Harry Bradshaw and Chris Brennan. 

The car is one of six cutting-edge creations which are part of a collaboration between car manufacturer MINI and architecture and design magazine Dezeen.Stained glass car

Dominic Wilcox said: "The team at Middlesex Product Design have been a fantastic assistance in creating this glass car of the future. Their technical skills and enthusiasm to help make something completely bonkers yet beautiful was vital to the success of the project.

The challenge to designers was to explore how design and technology could transform the way we travel in years to come. Each exhibit has been partly inspired by the spirit of the MINI brand and the newly launched MINI.

An exhibition of the final pieces - 'Frontiers - The Future of Mobility' - took place at the London Design Festival from 17th to 21st September 2014.

Middlesex graduate Harry Bradshaw said: "I'm really grateful to have been asked by the Product Design department to work with them and Dominic on this fantastic project. The skills I've learned on the course and at the Middlesex University Innovation Centre redLoop were invaluable in being able to contribute to creating the world's first stained glass car!"

The beautiful stained glass car has already featured in the Metro newspaper and Dezeen.

Top photo by Sylvain Deleu.

Bottom photo: Wyn and Harry work on car

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