We had our own prize-giving event back in Lahti, as it was difficult for all of our entries to visit Moscow. Our students entered as groups, and this in our opinion- gave them maximum ability to innovate. The croups were encouraged to throw ideas back and forth, and then aim for something radical as a result. The prize winners were: 1st place: Ruusu-Maria Laihonen, Anorico Adam Joaquin – 3D Express 2nd place: Esa Mustonen, Julius Ranta, Inka Tiikkainen – Self-driving cargo transportation unit. 3rd place: Nicklas Sundvall, Matias Pekkonen – AFV-68 (Artificial Farming Vehicle 2068)
Instead of the usual STANCE blog post- this post has been written by a guest team of graduate designers. They call themselves Team Groovy, after the project they created together. I will let them explain:
The “eGroovy project” started July 17th. There had been some negotiations and planning about developing the bigger Groovy caravan further (presented at Caravan 2016 fair a year before), but due to time constraints we decided to ditch that plan. The bigger Groovy was already presented as a design concept, so the next logical step would have required some help from engineers. And currently our team was formed by three design graduates and former class mates, including me, Mikael Kosonen and Waltter Holm. All we needed was a space to work in and some tools and materials. Nothing really fancy, but as a starting designer, you have to make do with what’s given to you.
The Caravan 2017 fair was less than two months away. The initial plan was to go there and present our concept to the big audience. However, as our project began there wasn’t any specific brief. Our client Tom Sågbom told us he’d been thinking about “ultra light caravan available for everyone to buy”. Together with him we made some quick research about existing products to match that description, and the idea of a bike camper was born. E-bikes are growing in numbers as the technology becomes cheaper, so during the first week our brief was formed. The goal was to design a bike camper, or to be more precise, a “sleeping pod” to be towed with e-bike. The Finnish law defined most of the features: it had to weigh less than 45 kg’s and width shouldn’t be more than 120 cm’s. At that point we decided it was going to be for one person only.
Before sketching we started to think about ergonomics. We took out a measuring tape, made Waltter lay down on the floor and took notes what dimensions were required for a person taller than average. That way the space inside the camper would be adequate for anyone. Then the sketching began – we gave ourselves five days to nail down the overall shape. It was really challenging to try to think about a product that hadn’t been done before. No existing products to take references from, aside from actual caravans. But that was not an option, as we wanted to avoid making it look like a shrunken caravan. Dethleffs had made a bike camper concept in 2010, but it was never taken into production. No wonder, as it was huge and clumsy, weighing 180 kg’s. Imagine towing that with your muscles only…
Then an idea came into my mind: a solid object that was surrounded by an outer “shell”. The key sketch was born. We agreed that the idea was worthy of further development, and we sketched some more, this time in 1:10 scale with the actual dimensions. To keep the camper compact and easily towable, the idea of expanding space for the legs came into Mikael’s mind. Waltter made the first mock-ups from cardboard and styrofoam. Time flew, and 24th of July we started to prepare to build the model. Our original plan was to make eGroovy a working 1:1 prototype, but it was too much of a challenge. Making an actual product in less than two months would’ve been incredible achievement, but the risk of a failure was too big. Tom was our client, so we had to make sure to produce everything he asked. Refined scale model is better than rushed and unfinished prototype. So we messed around for a week, and made the decision to build 1:2 scale model instead.
August was mainly about building the model while defining the design. Details were formed as the model was built. The interior was on purpose left pretty blank, because time was running out. We focused on the exterior and used our background as automotive design graduates to our aid. Tom liked what he was seeing and gave us pretty much free hands regarding the design. Only one restriction: it shouldn’t look and feel like a coffin! September was drawing close and so was our deadline. Come to think of it, had we decided to build a prototype in real scale, we would’ve probably failed (and say goodbye to our career). After all, the reservations for the stand at the fair was already made, so failure was not an option. On the 6th of September, I started to work with digital material. My area of responsibility was to make renderings to showcase the design and make the layout for the posters, while Mikael and Waltter built the model. The absolute deadline for digital work and poster design was 11th of September, because we had to take into account the time required for printing.
Thursday 14th of September, a day before the Caravan 2017 fair, and we still didn’t have the posters. I called Grano, and to our fortune, everything was ready. No idea why they didn’t inform me… but off we went, to build our stand for the show. The weekend was pretty hectic, and we were astounded how much interest our concept drew. Some of the visitors said that they had come to see specifically our concept. Tom was pleased as well, so the goal was reached: our client was happy and felt he got what he asked for!
We think that the highlight of the fair was Saturday: we took to the stage and presented eGroovy to a big audience. Roope Salminen was interviewing us, and we got to answer questions regarding the design and our education. The interview and the following presentation was a total surprise for us, but even so it went really well. We also got some media coverage, which is extremely important for our future career. We think that the eGroovy project is a manifestation of determination that is required in this business: after the Caravan 2016, we had underwent negotiations with Tom for nearly a year about some additional project, this time with some money involved. eGroovy was our first job as professional vehicle designers, and we couldn’t be happier of the end result. There has already been some talk about finding the possible manufacturer, but nothing more can’t be said at this point. Maybe eGroovy will remain only as a design concept, or maybe you will see them roaming the streets in the future. Either way, I’m sure eGroovy will help us to move forward in our careers.
Lada 2050 Future Vision: The story began in 2016 when our friends in Moscow suggested an ambitious project idea. We cautiously agreed to attempt a project to collaborate with 2 other schools, and one very large car company. The project was for Lada Moscow, and eventually things were set in motion when 12 of our students travelled to Moscow to take part in a 1 week workshop. Our generous hosts at Moscow Polytechnic looked after us handsomely, and that week was the beginning of a 3 month project coordinated between Moscow Polytechnic, Steiglitz Academy of St. Petersburg, and Lahti Institute of Design. Lada Moscow chief designer Raphael Linari mentored the students on this project, with close guidance and feedback every step of the way. We are all extremely grateful to his input. 36 students took part and worked as 6 teams of 6. Each team had 2 members from each school, to ensure cross collaboration. After the 1 week intensive workshops, development of vehicle concepts continued within each group- but with internal competition driving the projects. Students regularly pitched their projects to Raphael Linari, who was instrumental in his feedback, along with staff of all institutes guiding students. On our side, students were helped greatly by Tapani Jokinen with the strategic design and future scenario aspects of this project, and we thank him for that. 2050 is far in the future, and Lada as a business were interested in true blue-sky thinking. The competition was narrowed down to 9 designs (from 36) but eventually only one was chosen to be produced and developed fully. The project continued in 2017 in Moscow, with a specially selected team working to finish the final design. That team worked to create a scale model for the Moscow biennale Design exhibition, in April 2017. This video shows the final result of the project, and I have included a gallery of some of our activities in Moscow.
There is a lot more info on various aspects of this project, at Cardesign.ru. Follow the link!
Visit to Stieglitz Academy of Art & Design, St Petersburg, RUSSIA.
Eight months of planning led us to this historical moment. Vehicle Design students from Finland and Russia working together and getting to know each other, collaborating closely on solving transportation . After initial meetings in St Petersburg it was agree we would try to achieve an ambitious synergy of our courses and also a collaborative workshop. Somehow it happened in November of 2015. Our 3rd year Vehicle Design students and a special guest from the University of Lapland headed off on the 12th of November for a 10 day adventure in St. Petersburg, where we would meet with Steiglitz Academy students of Transport Design. First on the agenda, was to present our progress on a design brief that we had all agreed to earlier in October.
We began our visit presenting the results of our joint project- called No Infrastructure. We aimed to design innovative future transport systems for the remote areas of Russia and Finland. Next on our agenda for the week, was to visit many amazing museums and art galleries in St Petersburg, and to settle in during the weekend I guess you might say. We began our full week in St. Petersburg with a collaborative joint workshop at Steiglitz Academy, with the theme of creating an abstract artwork in one day, as a group. In total more than 20 students took part. The first one day intense workshop was created by our Russian colleagues Sergey Helmianov, and Vikenty Gryaznov. The exact theme was determined by each student group, based on a brief as follows “Abstract dynamic form sculpture, with a descriptive theme of your choice.”. The groups did not know each other before the day began, and language barriers meant that communication was not easy but somehow they pulled off some very interesting and exciting work within the space of just that day. A winning project was chosen, and prizes of a signed model minibus (the designer works at the academy!) were presented. Later that week our own teachers would set another 1 day workshop, created by vehicle design teacher Lee Walton. This time new mixed groups were formed to collaboratively work to design four different car designs for a future Hyundai Solaris. What is a Solaris, and why did we choose Hyundai? Well, midweek we had the pleasure of a factory tour at the St Petersburg Hyundai manufacturing plant, where a Russian build Hyundai Solaris car is built. This was invaluable research and experience for vehicle design students and inspired the topic of the vehicle design workshop. The broader theme was an exploration of differing styles of design. Four groups were created, with two groups exploring more traditional vehicle design practices while the rival groups worked on a more radical design philosophy. The one-day workshop created a lot of discussion, and again very impressive results. We ended our truly enjoyable visit with a sociable evening and we all felt we had made some genuine friends over in Russia. Lahti Vehicle Design department and St Petersburg are forming a close relationship for the long-term future, and we hope there will be more cooperative projects coming soon.
In fall 2013, for students in the Department of Vehicle Design at Lahti Institute of Design and Fine Arts was arranged a course in international design management, combined with a customer project in order to gain more practical reflection and experience.
The knowledge gained from the lectures of the international design management were put into practice in an exercise of concepting, designing and visualizing the use for robots provided by the customer, Probot Oy. The target markets for the designs were found all around the world, for example at Venice Beach in California as well as in Hong Kong and the Seychelles Islands.
The designed use for robots included for example gardening, beach sand cleaning, riot control, security enforcement and multipurpose cleaning solutions.