Audi Future Elements

 

Strategic Design & Storytelling 2014

Class: TD1
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 Ingolstadt.

 

Relevance:

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 practice. 

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.