Nick Pugh's Xeno 3 imagines a future in which 3D printing and nanotechnology lead to affordable, bespoke vehicles

profile / alumni / transportation-design
April 18, 2019
By: Mike Winder
All images courtesy of Nick Pugh

Alumnus and Concept Artist Nick Pugh's Xeno 3 is a Custom Car from the Future

What if the ultimate custom car was based not on a vehicle from the past but rather on a futuristic design? That was the idea behind Xeno 3, a “Personal Concept Car” built by alumnus and former faculty Nick Pugh (BS 90 Transportation) for a startup he attempted in the late ’90s.

“The intent was to show the ultimate evolution of 3D printing and its eventual merging with nanotechnology,” says Pugh, of the vehicle he launched at ArtCenter in 2002. “A customer could have a unique design created just for them at a reasonable cost.”

Nick Pugh
Concept artist and designer Nick Pugh

A concept artist and designer, Pugh has created characters, vehicles and environments for major studios, including Universal Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Bros. His credits include Oblivion, The First, Logan and Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. His work will also be seen in the upcoming Brad Pitt-starring sci-fi film Ad Astra, as well as in the highly anticipated J.J. Abrams-directed Star Wars Episode IX.

“Suffice to say that this idea was impractical at the turn of the millennium, and still is today,” says Pugh of the Xeno 3, whose manufacturing diagrams he also presented at the time of the vehicle’s launch. “But at some point in the future I believe ‘personal manufacturing’ will allow unique designs to flourish at a mass level.”

Pugh taught at ArtCenter for nine years and has given a number of presentations, including a TEDxSoCal Talk on “The Future of Painting.” Today, Pugh specializes in developing futuristic transportation and architectural and environmental designs for a variety of clients and personal projects.