Pinoy furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue’s bamboo and rattan car "a big hit" in Milan

Kenneth Cobonpue’s Phoenix. Photo from Cobonpue’s Facebook fan page.


( Filipino furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue told Manila Bulletin that his Phoenix, the world’s first and only car made from bamboo and rattan, was a "big hit" in Milan, Italy. It was showcased at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile during the Milan Design Week earlier this month.

According to Manila Bulletin, the Phoenix does not have an engine yet but it has caught the eye of the car industry. Cobonpue’s managing partner in the US, Christopher Reiter, told Manila Bulletin that a visitor from Mercedes Benz was "amazed" by the design.

Reiter said, "He found the whole concept of a car made of bamboo and rattan so raw and yet so rich in terms of design and sustainability. Two other leading car manufacturers are also interested to pursue a collaborative project with Kenneth."  According to Manila Bulletin, Consul General Lourdes Soliman Tabamo lauded Cobonpue’s work. In an intimate dinner she hosted in Milan for Cobonpue and his staff, she said, "This is a moment of national pride for all of us."

Manila Bulletin quoted Cobonpue as saying, "I am very pleased with the feedback from everyone who came to visit our booth and saw the intricacy of the craftsmanship and the genius of the Filipino design." likened the Phoenix to a sleek bird posed to take flight. "It has a (vertebra) or spine that runs to the rear where it forms into a splay of rattan bundled with LED (Light Emitting Diode) rods to emit light; that’s the tail light. The rear is also the space for the car engine." It took months to design the Phoenix, and 10 days to build it in Cobonpue’s factory in Cebu.

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