Vehicle Design Theory 2015

Class: TD1
Duration: 5 weeks

The work of a transportation designer combines a great variety of tasks and challenges that range from the proposal and creation of completely new products to the development of existing ones. In any case, the tasks normally involve the application of multiple skills and methods to help define the future direction of a brand. In order to succeed, the designer must be able to communicate his ideas and opinions both verbally and visually. Designers must be aware of the historical development of a brand and its products, to the realistic capabilities of the company and to all the aspects that will make a vehicle relevant in the market for a number of years to come. Good designs will generate great user experience and increase loyalty to the brand.

Many companies have succeeded in the creation of iconic models along their manufacturing history and from time refer to them when proposing future vehicles that should boost the essence of the brand. Some choose to do this in a subtle way and others take the retro design approach to clearly identify the sources of inspiration. An interesting aspect to observe is how market segments and manufacturing technologies have influenced a vehicle's appearance, from its size and proportions to the list of features. Now if we imagine the same kind of vehicle being produced with the materials and technology that will be implemented during the next 5 years, what could be changed and which aspects of its character should remain?

At the start of this course students were required to choose one old classic or "dead" car brand and to propose a new vehicle capturing the DNA from that brand. The market positioning and segment should have been clearly shown for a projected launch in 2020.

Students also needed to analyse the construction of the vehicle in terms of the different panels in relationship to the design features. In most vehicle design processes the way a vehicle is constructed with different materials has a baring on it's aesthetics. This was considered when developing ideas in this project.