The Project

Vattenfall Solar Team wanted to know: what does a family solar car look like in a future world, with a focus on the interior design? I took this opportunity to learn more about Vision in Product Design, a method that helps the designer formulate what effect a future design should have on the people who use it. This experience completely reframed my view on design, and allowed me to create a meaningful concept for both user and client.

Project Details

Problem Scenario

Solar technology enables leisurely driving with little environmental consequence. At the same time, technology filled lives have lots of consequences. People are disconnecting from each other and the physical world, which leads to identity crises and alienation. Also, an increasingly safe and organised world causes people to look for new ways to challenge themselves. The fact that people create stories around everything they do became the vantage point for turning this situation around.

DESIGN VISION   All occupants should be able to play a role in taking maximum advantage of the world they move through, so they can create shared stories about meaningful endeavours.

INTERACTION VISION   Like sailing a sailboat together: challenging, connecting, adventurous.

The Car as a Compass

By turning the car interior into a shared compass, exploration and wayfinding cannot be done by the driver alone anymore. This divides the challenge over the occupants, and reconnects them with each other and the world around them.

Testing

"We're going north, and you guys have to tell me to go left or right, using this compass."

Interaction with the Compass

The compass displays places around the vehicle. It allows the occupants to explore the surroundings by enquiring about things they see and navigating towards them.

KEY INSIGHT   If the design allows the user to create a goal, and to see the effect of their actions on the progress towards it, it will be inherently challenging without feeling like an arbitrary game.

Three things I've learned

  1. Integrating information, and developing coherent stories, strategies and designs is something I am good at and really enjoy.
  2. Documenting your process well is key to communication of your ideas and activities
  3. Validating assumptions is a skill that needs some more work.

MORE WORK

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