MA in Transportation Design

Strategic Design Project (2010)

"Beyond the Aircraft Heritage" (in collaboration with SAAB Automobile)

In this project our students developed complete concepts for vehicles that in their opinion can promote the Saab brand in a successful direction for the future. They looked at the business and communication models from non-automotive brands as inspiration. Such method led to surprising results that include special attention to design attributes like proportions, surface language, details, graphics, functionality and material choices. All these elements were used to create fresh concepts that capture the spirit of Saab and at the same time are relevant to current and new customers.

Project duration: 10 weeks (week 13 - 22, 2010)
Participants: 9 international students attending
the first year of our TD programme

External Tutors:

Jens Näslund, Brand Design Manager at Husqvarna, Sweden

Anders Gunnarson, senior advisor for the TD Programme

Toni-Matti Karjalainen, Research Director at Aalto University, School of Economics, Finland

Course responsible: Demian Horst, Programme Director for TD Education

Youngjun Byun designed an ultra compact SAAB 91 inspired by the sunny streets of California. His reference brand was Swedish mobile and professional phones manufacterer DORO.

Kosin Voravattayagon's project was awarded the "Student Design of the Year" and "Best Production Interior" in this year's edition of the Interior Motives Design Awards (Paris Motorshow). Kosin studied the brand GILLETTE as reference for his design strategy.


According to Simon Padian, SAAB's Brand Chief Designer, "The students demonstrated a wide range of creative ideas and innovative proposals to develop and grow the Saab Brand, many of which challenged convention being radical and thought provoking. The concepts were developed well and presented professionally. It was encouraging to see such a high level of visual quality in the presentations and the use of several types of media to convey ideas. The short animations were particularly well conceived and effective. Generally the whole presentation provided a very stimulating and enjoyable experience which showcased the professional level the students have achieved during their time at Umea. I look forward to seeing them working in the automotive industry..."

Jan Christian Osnes proposed a lightweight, zero-emission and off-road capable SAAB O2(Oxigen) inspired by NINTENDO.

Travis Vaninetti proposed an aspirational vehicle for families inspired by the Swedish retail brand H&M.

Eric Leong looked at the business model from NESPRESSO to design an extremelly functional and customizable vehicle that pushes SAAB aircraft hiritage to another level.

Yong-fei Han used Apple Computer as inspiration to propose a crossover SAAB equiped with drive-by-wire systems that allow extreme interior flexibility.