parsons school of design and nio life debut inaugural sustainable design collection

The collection features products designed with recylced materials from car manufacturing, including air bag fabric, seat belts and buckles, and car seat covers

The Three Way Tote, designed by Peter Yu

New York, April 19, 2022 - Today, pioneer and leading manufacturer of premium smart electric vehicles NIO's original design lifestyle brand, NIO Life, and The New School’s Parsons School of Design, one of the world’s leading art and design schools, announced the debut collection of the BLUE SKY LAB x Parsons partnership. Part of the BLUE SKY LAB sustainable project initiative, students in the partnership designed new products with leftover materials from car manufacturing, including air bag fabric, seat belts and buckles, and car seat covers, that are now available to support via crowdfunding.

Throughout the collaboration, students worked under the mentorship of Parsons faculty, and their final designs were judged by a professional committee, which included members of NIO Life. The finalists for the crowdfunding portion of the partnership created products that include a travel bag, a hat, and a home office set, all made from leftover materials from car manufacturing. Designs that are successfully crowdfunded by the public will be produced and sold on the NIO App. 

“Partnerships with innovative brands like NIO Life enrich our students, as they are given the opportunity to test their design skills within a practical context that shows them the breadth of what’s possible in their fields,” said Cotter Christian, Associate Dean of the School of Constructed Environments at Parsons. “Parsons students are full of creativity and enthusiasm for their work. They possess inspiring ways of seeing the world, informed by an education that foregrounds social and ecological responsibility. The opportunity to participate in the BLUE SKY LAB x Parsons Competition allowed the students to see the possibilities for a positive impact on a global scale.”

Top undergraduate students from the BFA Product Design and BFA Interior Design programs participated in the partnership, where they collaborated across disciplines and were challenged to creatively reimagine by products of car manufacturing into consumer goods. The partnership also gave students the opportunity to meet virtually with members of the NIO Life production team, who provided invaluable feedback and ideas, as well as exposure to how companies operate in the real world.

“I’d like to thank the faculty and students of Parsons for their support over the past year,” said Jill Liu, Head of NIO Life. “In a world in turmoil, it’s even more special to raise the awareness of sustainability and aspiration for a better life using beautiful design.”

For any products that are sold via NIO Life, the Parsons designers will receive a share of the revenue in perpetuity. To cultivate the best thinking in international sustainable design, NIO Life will continue to establish incubators for student designers at other acclaimed global design institutions.

A full selection of product photos can be found here.

Parsons School of Design at The New School is one of the leading institutions for art and design education in the world. Based in New York but active around the world, the school offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the full spectrum of art and design disciplines, as well as online courses, degree and certificate programs. Critical thinking and collaboration are at the heart of a Parsons education. Parsons graduates are leaders in their respective fields, with a shared commitment to creatively and critically addressing the complexities of life in the 21st century.

The circular economy has become an important part of sustainable development. Consequently, NIO Life took the initiative in launching BLUE SKY LAB to reuse leftover materials from car manufacturing, such as seat belts, airbags, and haptex, to create a fashion collection.

BLUE SKY LAB will select new leftover materials from car manufacturing every year for product R&D. It will continue to cooperate with global designers and brands to launch new products.

About NIO Life
NIO Life is NIO's original design lifestyle brand, integrating global design resources and collaborating with independent designers and top design schools in the UK, Italy, Scandinavia, and Asia to create a delightful lifestyle with boutique products that represent positive attitudes, good stories, and quality designs.


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Media Contacts:

Will Wilbur,
The New School
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