RVTR was approached to design and produce the 2012 MobiPrize to be presented at Rio+20, The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil June 13-22 2012. MobiPrize is a global award for entrepreneurial ventures in sustainable transportation initiated and operated by individuals under the age of 35. Created by the University of Michigan SMART initiative with the generous support of the Rockefeller Foundation, MobiPrize recognizes enterprises that demonstrate innovative, scalable and replicable solutions to local and global transportation challenges.
Our design for MobiPrize utilizes the geometric construct of a Möbius strip – to depict the seamless continuity and access to movement that is central to the ambitions of new mobility entrepreneurs. The form is milled from a solid billet of recycled 7075 aluminum, using a five-axis CNC gantry device, and is finished to preserve the legibility of the multiple successive toolpaths that produce its specific figure and texture. Developed with Wes McGee of the Taubman College FabLab, the project posed specific challenges for toolpath design given the combination of an object consisting of a continuous surface, and the desire to eliminate repositioning the artifact during machining so as to permit the fabrication to be undertaken in a single, continuous pass.