Strategic Design & Storytelling 2014
Duration: 15 weeks
The main objective in this collaboration project was to propose
a progressive yet realistic small vehicle concept that satisfied
not only the transportation needs of the users but was also
embedded with noble qualities that can contribute in some way to
the world around it. We called it 'Heroic Mobility'. The individual
decision about what these noble qualities should be came as a
result from a strategic analyses of the brand. Students were
expected to develop the company's core values when conceptualising
a relevant and desirable product that captured the spirit of Audi.
They were asked to promote the brand in a subtle, positive and
meaningful direction for the future.
The concept development had a strong user focus. Students based
their ideas on the market needs and projected these forward in
time, considering probable changes in lifestyle in the near future.
+ wishes and dreams of a younger generation, new expectations and
experience with products, new mystery of products, combination
between archaic type (roadster) and Hi-Tech solutions.
8 individual concepts were reviewed early in June and one was
chosen to be tested in full size.
In agreement with Audi design we chose Irfendy Mohamad's
"Innove" concept for further development. Its minimalistic yet
quite emotional design offers Audi an opportunity to consider a
compact sports car that really stands out both when driving but
also when parked among other vehicles.
Our students formed a design team and worked all around in order
to refine the design on a technical package based on the same
wheelbase as the Audi A1. A scale model was executed to test the
theme and after a few additional reviews we then started CAID
development. Digital data was used to mill out the car in full size
using foam and clay. This was the first time a model of this scale
and definition has been produced at our labs. Interior components,
lamps, rims, cameras, visor, roof concept and graphics were areas
assigned to different students and they took charge of their
implementation on the model.
"The initial concept sketch was very strong, simplicity,
friendliness despite a sporty character, feeling was "young".
During the refinement process the simplicity and young feeling was
a bit lost, the form became too complex and "grown up". Students
learned the fine balance of complying with the brand design
language and ignoring it partially to be able to develop it into
the future; keep the initial chosen concept and keep the essentials
when refining the concept…
"Audi design was always confident that the school can handle the
challenge of a full size; we were impressed by professors and
students' enthusiasm and design skills"
Klemens Rossnagel - Audi Design Research
Our last design review happened on November 14 with the
participation of two Audi designers. Improvements on the full size
model were suggested and during the last weeks our team of students
focused on finalising the model by implementing the most important
adjustments and preparing it for the journey from Umeå to
At UID we believe that experiencing full size modelling and
prototyping is very important in education. Providing our students
with the experience of going from research, concept formulation and
ideation on paper all the way to the real size tangible form helps
them to understand the fundamental workflow in a more realistic and
motivating way. They become familiar with how many experts are
involved in the process, the time it takes to develop, test and
refine an idea, the consequences of decisions made along the
journey and above all, the importance of team work in the design
With this project we challenged some of the typical automotive
styling by proposing a vehicle with a relatively simple
construction and form language. When the car is parked and resting
(or charging) its main functions are hidden. That does not keep the
novice from understanding the product. A simple look at the subtle
top features and its carefully laid shut lines will trigger the
viewer's intuition about how to use the car. The iconic roadster
can be configured from a monolithic sculpture to a dynamic single
or two seater. A simple idea that we believe would boost even more
the sophisticated and sporty character of the Audi brand.