Today, we are draining the world on resources while accelerating inequality among people. Though our capitalistic system is sometimes effective in lifting people out of poverty it has proven negative to our ecology. Therefore, it’s important that we find new ways of developing mobility. What then is the solution? Is it a matter of consuming green? Or do we need a fundamental change in how we create things? Could the answer be to head towards a circular economy? This project explores how automotive interior could look when designed with a circular mindset.
Inspiration and Method
For this project an in depth literature research was carried out to gather information about our economic system and social factors. The research about digitalisation and automatisation have been gathered from highly regarded magazines and web news papers. Second part of the research is also web based, and about sustainable materials that could be used in this interior concept. The design phase started with creation of a user in a Chinese context, based from the trend analyser firm Stylus. China was chosen because it’s a rapid growing economy and it’s the main market for the Chinese-owned car brand Lynk & Co. The collaboration partner for this thesis. The design phase followed with sketching to quickly visualise early ideas. These were then brought into a CAID program to fit the chosen package of a small city car. The design was created around a male mannequin to ensure usability. A full-size mockup was built to test functions and validate design around a large male and the smallest female percentile.
The project resulted in a strategic concept of how a new business model would push for a greener development using a circular mindset. From that perspective a interior was created using sustainable materials. The overall structure is covered in a hard cover manufactured in recycled plastic. The seating and dashboard were design with the highly efficient material Abroform in mind. Abroform is based of Lignin which is a byproduct of the paper industry. Therefore no additional extraction is needed making it sustainable. Further it had all the positive design characteristics from conventional plastics. The soft seat cushions and the front dash was designed with compressed felt, manufactured from organic wool. These parts created a friendly and soft interior and are easy changeable for maintaining purposes. Overall the interior focused on providing smart storage solutions using few materials with an “bolt-on aesthetic”. The design language is using a friendly surface treatment and to include users make the journey pleasant.