The Kiravan: The Globe Trotter You’d Build With an Unlimited Budget
What do you get with an unlimited budget, your own in-house design and engineering team, and an itch to go camping? You build your own rolling Swiss Army knife. That’s exactly what Bran Ferren has done over the last four years, all in an effort to show his six-year-old daughter the far reaches of the globe.
Looking something like the RV from The Lost World: Jurassic Park, this all-inclusive rig boasts everything from a three-level living section to FLIR cameras and an on-board motorcycle lift. It’s called the Kiravan, named after Ferren’s daughter, Kira, and playing off the English term for a recreational vehicle. But it’s plain to see this is no ordinary caravan.
When asked how much it cost to design and build, Ferren frankly responded with, “I have no idea, but it’s more than a Chevy station wagon and less than a 747.” Cost really wasn’t a factor for Ferren, who made is money doing special effects for Hollywood, leading Disney’s Imagineering department, and running his own company, Applied Minds. “[Money] was not a fundamental driver, so there was not a notion of a ceiling in price of what this can cost, it was just about making sensible decisions about using high-quality products with a very high degree of craftsmanship.”
Sensible might not be the word most would choose to describe the Kiravan, but Ferren says his creation showcases what unlimited thinking can achieve. “Consensus thinking is poison to design – all you do is drive toward mediocrity. For me, I would rather move hard and strong in a bold direction, a novel direction, take the chance of a complete failure and disaster, than do something that’s kind of okay. The world does not need more stuff that’s kind of okay.”
The project is still in development, but once finished, the Kiravan will be able to traverse remote reaches without the convenience of civilization nearby.