Pneo – living in space

Pneo is a concept for living in space stations which takes ergonomic, economic and ecologic aspects into consideration. When deflated, the module can be sent into orbit with a space transporter and after having being connected to a space station it can expand pneumatically. Pneo provides a three-storey habitat for four to six people.

Appreciation of the winner
by Prof. Richard Horden – Munich Technical University

With her model, Aleksandra Konopek further developed the pneumatically expandable TransHab spaceship drafted by Constance Adams, an architect for Lockheed Martin and NASA. One of the main advantages of Konopek’s sphere is the additional room it offers to astronauts in space. The increasing demand due to lengthier space flights goes hand in hand with the need for more convenience and room. Common transportation systems such as the Space Shuttle and Ariane, however, offer limited space in their loading bays. Developing pneumatically expandable habitats is one of the prerequisites for exploring space. In the field of solar cells and antennas, folding technology facilitated the increase in dimensions. Konopek’s model combines these two technologies into a sphere with a diameter of nine meters that when deflated can be extracted from the loading bay of the Space Shuttle. The layers of the sphere’s outer shell resemble those of TransHab , namely, a combination of aluminum-coated Kevlar fabric and insulation material. This structure ensures high thermal insulation, reflects the sun’s rays and is able to absorb the energy impact of small meteorites.

Technical data
Space-compatible materials, pneumatics
Ø 9600mm
Model at a scale of 1:10

Aleksandra Konopek


Bergische Universität – Gesamthochschule Wuppertal

Prof. Tönis Käo

Institut für Raumfahrtsysteme – Universität Stuttgart

Prof. Dr. Ernst Messerschmid

pneumatic.cyc – pneumatically operated recumbent bike


The intention behind the concept was to show new, visionary technological and design solutions for a high-end sporting device. The model of the recumbent bike, which is orientated strongly towards competition, clearly differentiates itself from other bikes of this type and symbolizes the innovative drive technology of “fluidic muscles” through adequate design.

Appreciation of the winner
by Jürgen Schröder – AUDI AG

Experience shows that conducting thorough investigation in the field prior to beginning the actual design of an innovative product is becoming increasingly important. The use of all the options for presentation and communication relating to new media also is gaining in importance. Most designers very quickly realize that working with a team of networked specialists is advantageous and almost imperative if they want to master complex assignments in the future. Interdisciplinary work must become the focus of education; universities increasingly must support, consult with and train students. This was the background of the applicants for this year’s Bavarian State Prize for Young Designers whose works exhibited an impressive level of creativity. Selecting the winners from the large number of entries required intensive assessment. New media are playing an increasing role in applications, and more and more applicants submit data models. Hence, it is important that drafts be staged correctly and that virtual models presented in the form of prints and/or animations be able to compete with physical models. This is why the jury unanimously selected candidates for the Bavarian State Prize for Young Designers who knew how to impress its members with innovative concepts as well as with texts, drawings and presentations or virtual models. One of this year’s winners in the industrial design category is Patrick Scholl and his pneumatic.cyc, a device for leisure-time sports, namely, a recumbent bike with a novel type of power transmission. Rather than using a chain drive, the back wheel is operated via two reciprocating pumps and two so called fluidic muscles which are contraction tubes strengthened with a textile. When filled with compressed air, they enlarge in diameter and contract lengthwise. This converts the rider’s pumping movements into a linear movement that powers the back wheel through a ratchet system and an electrical planetary gear. This novel type of power transmission makes it possible for the user to be enclosed by the bike’s frame rather than sitting on it, as with other bikes. Shoulder straps prevent the rider from slipping on the seat and reinforce the construction significantly, which facilitates a more extreme reclining position and an overall stable geometry of the frame. “Form follows function” is the good old principle of design, but it was not until novel technologies were invented that design was able to make quantum leaps. The research, conception and model of pneumatic.cyc are of exemplary quality and have the power of persuasion. This is what makes the model so special. Patrick Scholl used an innovative technique to create more leeway for design and, thus, developed a product with a form and a function that are both innovative.

Technical data
2700 × 650 × 450mm
Model at a scale of 1:1

Patrick Scholl


Fachhochschule Darmstadt

Prof. Othmar Wickenheiser