Studio Kippenberger goes graphic with Floridian ‘flat boat’
Supergraphics take a bite out of bay-boating
Studio Kippenberger is a multi-disciplinary studio committed to finding niches in transportation design and promoting them in outré, graphically bold and visually arresting ways.
As well as working on consultancy projects for car firms, chief creative Chris Kippenberger has also launched VÉHICULE, a biannual magazine pitched at ‘avant-garde transportation’ with a typically iconoclastic approach, alongside yet another subsidiary, VÉHICULE Marine. The latter’s first project is a reinterpretation of the classic Floridian ‘flat boat’, a type of vessel originally developed for fishing in the shallow waters of the state’s inland lakes. Also known as bay boats, their flat-bottomed hulls make minimal noise on the water, all the better for luring fish, but also giving them exceptionally low drag and high performance.
With typical bravado, Kippenberger and his team, which includes the Miami-based firm Concept Boats, have taken a design usually powered by a 90hp engine and installed a 300hp racing engine. ‘We have one prototype which reaches a top speed of 95mph, while the new boat we are working on will do 105mph+,’ he says casually. Not so great for fishing, perhaps, but sure to make a statement. If that wasn’t enough, the boat itself will be emblazoned with a dazzle-style camouflage pattern, plus some characteristically bold supergraphics.
Kippenberger also engaged the services of a bona fide supercar designer – whose name is being withheld – to give the Bay Boat its sleek lines. Kippenberger hopes that the VÉHICULE brand will become a collaborative platform, somewhere where designers of all disciplines can infuse an edgier, artistic take on luxury design. The next project is even more performance-focused, with prototypes already up and running. Niche design is becoming increasingly important in high-end transport, and Studio Kippenberger is well placed to make a splash. §