Eric Leong, recent UID graduate from the
Programme, won this year's "Best Production Interior" category
at the 10th
Interior Motives Student Awards. The announcement was made in
France, in combination to the 2012 Paris Motorshow.
Eric's entry was his result from the "Vehicle Interior Design"
course in 2011 when second year master students in the
transportation design programme spent 10 weeks investigating
current traffic safety situations, researching upcoming trends and
technologies and proposing automotive interior concepts that could,
in theory, avoid serious injuries on the occupants of a vehicle.
Students chose several automotive brands as references and all
concepts were explained, visualised or demonstrated during three
phases: pre-, in- and post-crash in order to demonstrate their
systemic and integrated nature. The project was a
cross-disciplinary collaboration between Umeå Institute of Design
and experts from the "Real Life Safety Innovation" research group,
sponsored by Sweden's Innovation Agency - Vinnova.
Eric's concept draws parallels between the human body and the
electric car in his 'Pulse' four-seat sports coupe, highlighting
the shared use of an electrically powered motor (the heart) pulsing
hydraulic fluid (blood) to the vehicle's propulsion system (limbs).
Reflecting this is an interior divided, like the heart, into four
'chambers' by hydraulic cables that run the length of the car.
These cables are designed not only to support the individual seats
but also absorb energy in the event of a crash. "A very complete
and professional proposal," commented Citroën's Andreas Stump
during the judging phase, while David Woodhouse of Ford's Strategic
Concept Group called it, "very technical but also very realistic".
The award was presented by BASF.