UID student wins Interior Motives Award 2012


Eric Leong, recent UID graduate from the Transportation Design 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.