WHEN DESIGN MEETS DESIGN
The Milan Design Week starts off with Airbumps (and with the name) and an ironic play on the word, beyond the limits of automotive conventions, with the identity of a product that is itself capable of attracting more than one glance.
In 1972 the Gufram furniture brand, already linked to “anti-academic” icons such as the Bocca Sofa (1970) or Pratone (1971) and Capitello (1972) chairs, proposed Cactus, an incredible coat hanger on which coats remained in place thanks also to a pointy texture that re-created the thorns of the original plant in plastic.
That same ashlar textured effect has been reproduced today, by hand, on clay supports cut to the shape of the French crossover’s bump protections. 3D scanning then generated polyurethane foam panels that exactly copy the pitted surface to be mounted on the bodywork. Before assembly, however, Guflac, a surface coating that is applied like paint but takes on the final appearance of an elastically glossy skin, was spread by hand on these large soft parts.
The result? Softly embossed “inflorescences” seem to appear on the bumpers and sides of the C4 Cactus. These enrich the already striking visual impact of the car without affecting the sheet metal. Citroën’s anti-conformist (and now increasingly pop) spirit thus mixes with the ultra-sacrilegious approach of a cult name of Italian design, a bit like the way the orange blends into the lime green in the exterior paintwork: a citation, the latter, of the colours of the limited edition of the Metacactus made in 2012 to celebrate the forty year birthday of the coat hanger.
And if that were not enough, even in the cockpit the shades blend with each other in a fluo explosion that, together with the concentric stitching, characterises the specific microfibre upholstery and contrasts with the absolute black of the other plastics.