Interview by Susanne Gold
Andrea Mocellin develops new ways of getting around – including air taxis and arguably the most innovative wheel of our time. Andrea works as a Senior Product Designer at Lilium and is the founder of Revolve Wheel. He was born on 29 December 1984 in Marostica, Italy, and grew up in the village of San Nazario until he moved to Turin for his studies. He graduated with honors from the IED (European Institute for Design) and went on to graduate from the Royal College of Art in London, where he completed his Masters in Vehicle Design. He is currently studying business administration alongside his job to get a broader view of business and its fundamentals
Andrea, you are a true inventor and tinkerer, developing flying taxis and founding your company Revolve Wheel – what was the first thing you designed?
I still remember how in primary school I was passionate about starting with the logo of a hypothetical company, its strategy and the final product. Today, I deal with mobility.
What is important to you in your work?
A meaningful product should always tell a story. I am very passionate about design, which also thrives on storytelling. I love the opportunity to be a pioneer in the small or big world of travel. After all, it’s one thing I’ve always found fascinating: The peace that comes with moving, travelling and being in motion. I think one of the most important feelings of freedom and openness to the world is to make it smaller and on a human scale.
You have continued the history of the wheel – what is important to you when designing?
To design a product, I always need to feel connection to the project, to be truly passionate and find the motivation to invest time in it. This connection is fundamental to achieve a good result. Then I also feel that I am investing my time properly.
Do you have a mission?
My basic mission is to design mobility in such a way that it improves people’s lives. If I don’t see that, I can get very frustrated. My drive is always to improve mobility in everyday life and – how people with or without disabilities get around.
What do you want to achieve?
My goal is to create a range of vehicles that have one common denominator: They should be maximally space-saving when folded – like our revolve air wheelchair – and they should have performance and simplified functionality to improve the user’s life. And finally, to offer the possibility to use products that are suitable for every situation and environment. It’s even better if they are vehicles that are completely in tune with the environment and give the user an adrenaline rush – then the journey becomes more interesting and unique.
Are you all about functionality and design?
It’s not only the design, but also the experience that makes a product successful. My dream is to create a vehicle that is an integral part of human instinct and that is completely intuitive to use, without the need for instructions or a user manual. I am a big fan of human instinct! Unfortunately, we often forget to use it when faced with difficulties or decisions in general. That’s why vehicles like bicycles, longboards, etc. are very fascinating in my eyes. Because they ensure that the user can listen to his body while riding, which can create a natural relationship between man and machine.
Was there a moment in your life that sparked your interest in mobility design?
My father bought a Quattro Route. I think since then I became more interested in articles about new forms of mobility, new alternative brands and small companies trying to get a foothold in a market made up of industrial giants like General Motors or Toyota. I’ve always been fascinated by experimental mobility, whether it’s electric, hybrid or hydrogen vehicles.
What specifically fascinates you about experimental mobility?
I am fascinated by the possibility of influencing, improving and revolutionising the way we move and travel. From this passion, there was only one path for me, namely to design cars or become a vehicle designer. So I was determined to get into the IED in Turin with a scholarship and then the Royal College of Art in London. At these schools I was completely overwhelmed by the opportunity to learn how to design a vehicle from the first pencil sketch to production. It was a truly unique and fascinating process, even if it involved a lot of cutting corners and changing directions due to necessity or need.
You are also active as a product designer in matters of air taxis: how does your work on the Lilium Jet influence your plans for the future?
Working at Lilium, I am learning a lot about how to improve mobility in the future without building additional roads, bridges and infrastructure that would only further congest our already polluted and congested cities. This way, there would be more space for green spaces and regulated air traffic with quiet vehicles designed in harmony with the environment. In addition to my daily work with Lilium, I am working on completing a few projects related to mobility with accessibility and inclusion using technology. I continue to explore how analogue technology can create unique vehicles that guarantee a language that is completely intuitive and not exclusively tied to digital technology.
What drives you in life, Andrea?
I would say “always looking forward”. I think it is fundamental to always have a vision that is in harmony with nature and human rights. A vision that includes respecting the earth and the amazing gift it offers us every day. Learn more? Follow Andrea on LinkedIN, visit the website of his company, Revolve Wheel or send him an e-mail.