Royal College of Art's Vehicle Design held its annual Summer Degree Show. In this review you can see the projects of 14 students graduating this year.Adam Philips
My final project looks at modern families and how vehicle interiors can respond to their needs. Current interiors promote an outdated family dynamic, with one occupant being handed all of the focus and responsibility. By mimicking the dynamic of the modern home, I believe I can create a space where healthy interaction and shared responsibility can take place. A successful family vehicle needs to be more than just a clever seating arrangement. It should grow and adapt with its occupants from one stage of their lives to the next.James Brooks & Richard Bone
The ‘car’ has become symbolic of human self-indulgence, and is under increasing pressure to remove its veil and reassure society that we can still move around individually, with freedom and efficiency, without destroying our environment or harming our social behaviour.
For the major study area and beyond, I will collaborate with colleague Richard Bone (forming Brooks & Bone). We will tackle the real issues regarding urban travel. The aim is to create a car tailored for sharing and bespoke to central London; with solid research on the environment and inhabitants, we will create an essentialist vehicle for the city.
I am forever excited by interdisciplinary trends and opportunities, which is something I have taken advantage of during my studies at the Royal College of Art. I look to a combination of my strengths, such as sketching and experimental CAD, to inspire unique design development, of which my Renault internship project is a perfect example.
My final project is based on my interest in developing fresh and unique brand association. Thorough research with contrasting perspectives has driven my concept development to understand possibilities within manufacturing, and the true meaning of identity: identity is theatre.
I’m serious about design, yet I don’t take myself so seriously. I’m creative, multi-cultural and passionately questioning of the automobile and my relationship to it.
While working for some of the most contrasting car brands, I took on the RCA with the goal of achieving an emancipated design ideology. I’m deeply interested in making automotive design relevant to cultural / technological contexts and determined to use it as the means to make a progressive imprint on the flow of modern culture.
My degree project examines the correlation between changing human needs and advancements in technology, with the goal of finding new market segments. While the operational range of vehicles becomes longer and more efficient, cities become increasingly overpopulated. Time for extended holidays is scarce, while the need for escaping daily stress becomes stronger. This creates a need for spontaneous overnight leisure experiences, which fit into our weekly schedules. To create an appealing solution for overnight touring, a new sector of active outdoor vehicles designed for weekend touring is examined, with the focus on compact efficiency in long-distance comfort.
The RCA has at times been overwhelming but fundamentally a truly enriching experience. The College has inherently advanced my personal philosophy to design, eliciting a progression where ecological and contextual significance are natural barometers, alongside an expressive artistic response. This holistic appreciation has fashioned a natural thought process, culminating in my final project.
Light: light is a multi-dimensional phenomenon and a philosophy that opposes the current idiom. Can we do more with less? My concept not only references physical weight, but also a visual language of lightness counteracting our perception of safety and comfort, our sensory and material perceptions.
Neuron: Brain–Machine Interface and the Automobile, an exploration of the consequences of brain–machine interface on the most ubiquitous of twentieth-century products, the automobile.
Neuron examines how new relationships created by ever-developing methods of interaction between man and machine can forge products and experiences more relevant for the current century. Through the intimate relationships created by BMI, vehicles will become an extension of the self, stripping back the wasteful and unneeded and creating agile, soft-treading cars that break free of conventional packaging and adapt to user needs while integrating seamlessly within their environment.
My approach to design is based on values like honesty, creativity and working towards the wellbeing of all people through social and environmental sustainability.
Throughout my studies I strived to stay loyal to these values, which were strengthened throughout the Vehicle Design course.
Considering these values in each project, I was conscious of the consequences of my proposals, tried to realise the projects in real-life scenarios, and reflected on my responsibilities and duties as a designer in society.
I haven’t outgrown my childhood love of cycling. Instead, my fascination with it continues to grow. I often feel that the discipline of Vehicle Design has grown in an unbalanced manner — too preoccupied with peacocking and demonstrations of personal superiority. In general, the contrasting qualities of simplicity and efficiency, plus the health benefits of cycling enjoy a timeless relevance.
There is room for everyone on the road. We understand ourselves better if we can understand each other. My work at the RCA has frequently explored this cross-pollination.
My degree project concentrates on rural area development in Northern countries. The concept is an efficient, next-generation vehicle for Polar areas. Coldness, rugged roads and long distances create special demands for the vehicles in use, and the concept will be designed with those unique demands in mind.
People living in areas that are too isolated to be connected to the national electricity grid have to give up some obvious conveniences that city folks have. This makes living in rural areas more challenging and less attractive. The objective of this concept is to offer mobility and energy for the remote community.
The reason why I am fascinated by vehicle design is because such opposite things can be combined beautifully into it. Creating ideas for a mechanical object with a different approach, such as architecture, fashion, sculpture or eco-friendly products, makes me motivated and passionate. My aim is always focused on ‘How to create the perfect balance between the message and the object?’.
Mimesis looks to nature to provide a new, safer vehicle architecture. It aims to encourage people to downsize their vehicle through safe and fun design. The main inspiration for this project came from the incredible forces that a woodpecker’s head can withstand, and recent advances in our understanding of its structure and potential. I hope that the project also highlights the potential importance of biomimetics in finding fresh solutions to problems that we have solved in the same way for many years within the industry. At the same time, these new solutions will naturally create a new architecture.