This Crazy Citroën Was Built For Lounging Tastefully
Photographs and illustrations via bellini.it
Could a reconfigurable “mobile human space” really be the future of cars? It’s not a new idea, after all, this incredible, transforming green box was built for the 1972 MoMA exhibition, “Italy: The New Domestic Landscape”.
Vehicles that emphasize their interior above all else are few and far between, and it took a collaboration between architect Mario Bellini, a furniture company, Pirelli, and Citroën to produce the Kar-A-Sutra.
Envisioned as a part of a larger transportation network, Kar-A-Sutra may look like a camper van, but without a bathroom or kitchen, it’s not an RV; it’s more a temporary living space that can be reconfigured as needed. Sadly, I couldn’t find explanation anywhere for the mimes—but the Kar-A-Sutra is more than just a massive 20 foot long art piece.
When you consider its year, 1972, the concept predates every MPV, from the Mitsubishi Chariot/Space Wagon to the Renault Espace, long considered the first modern MPV.
Is the Kar-A-Sutra what inspired car designers to invent the MPV? I’d sure love to think so, since it was also based on the Citroën DS, a revolutionary vehicle in its stock form—to say nothing of the mobile living room you see here.
Designed with a movable roof to increase living space, the Kar-A-Sutra could grow from a driving height of 4 feet up to a stationary height of 7 feet. Once raised, the interior fittings—er, cushions—could be moved around as needed.
Could the Kar-A-Sutra drive under its own power? I’m not sure, but I’m OK if it doesn’t—it stands as a great example of architect Bellini’s work, alongside his ultramodern building designs.
Actually, his website describes the Kar-A-Sutra as follows, a fitting way to end:
“To stretch out, sleep, smile, chat face-to-face, stand up, enjoy the sun, take photos, play cards, eat and drink, make love, buy a horse and a piano along the way… Forerunning the future, the car becomes a MOBILE HUMAN SPACE.”