Welcome to the 2022 graduating season of Vehicle Design projects from Lahti Institute of Design in Finland. Here are some brief details about each student project. This year was a quiet one, I’m sure none of you on planet earth will forget the years between 2019 and 2022… and we definitely saw a knock-on effect from that situation. A really difficult time for all of us, and here are LAB University we are also seeing the results of reintegrating our Vehicle Design specification into our regular and highly regarded Industrial Design course. For example, there was a superb Electric Mountain/Urban bike project presented this year- by Riku Kinnunen who was officially part of Industrial Design studies. In future- students at our Institute will be fully integrated as one group- all aiming to be the best hardware/mobility/material object designers in the world – as always!
Enjoy the projects. Descriptions by the students:
STANCE Award Winner 2022: eHGV by Niko Pekkarinen
Concept semi-truck for the year 2030.
The goal of this graduation project was to design a concept of a semi-truck, for the year 2030, that utilises an alternative source of power. This project compared two of the most promising substitutes of fossil fuels and also sought to find solutions in the selected power sources problem areas. As a result of the design process, a 3D-model of a semi-truck was created.
The Last Mile – by Eveangerlien Blears
Folding e-Motorbike concept.
Extend your adventure. The last mile starts here.
Automated Parking Robot by Kim Tapio
Automated Parking Robot concept.
The project’s goal was to develop service idea for automated parking in the form of a parking robot for 2030. The assignment also included searching for and identifying current parking-related issues. Artificial intelligence and robotics are also explored for their possibilities.
Environmentally friendly and ethical materials in vehicle design by Mette Stubb
This graduation project discusses materials used in vehicle interiors from an environmental and ethical perspective. Currently, fully renewable, and ethical materials are limited to concept vehicles. The aim is to explore what alternatives exist and how to make the consumer more aware of them. The project also explores the production methods, lifetime, drawbacks, costs, properties of different materials and how they could be used in vehicle interior design. The goal is to create a public discussion on the use of environmentally friendly and ethical materials in vehicle interiors today and in the future. As different types of plastics are the most used material in vehicle interior design, which is of concern as the climate crisis progresses, it is important to identify renewable and ethical materials that could be used in the future for vehicle interior design. From an ethical point of view, the use of leather in vehicles is particularly questionable, as the production of leather produces huge carbon emissions, not forgetting the rights of animals. The demand for leather is constantly increasing and it is therefore important to find alternatives, such as artificial leather made from mycelium, mushrooms, and pineapple leaves. From an environmental point of view, materials should be as recyclable, biodegradable and carbon neutral as possible.
Special thanks go to Peter Beliaev and Mariia Kozlova for creation of this promotional video. Thanks also to Lauri Haiko and our friends at LUT University for the amazing work on eMAD technology. This is a world leading electric motor cooling technology that all of us in vehicle design wanted to incorporate into our projects, and so should you! Get in touch with Lauri if you are interested- but here’s a showcase video to promote the tech, modelled and rendered by Peter. Just one of the services that our in house design studio Muotola, can offer external, or in this case internal clients.
One final thank you to Eeli Ravea, who’s work you can also see in STANCE21 blog post- but this year he contributed an excellent project – once again intended to promote the eMAD motor technology from our partners at LUT University. This unofficial SISU branded 4×4 ULTIMATE Utility Vehicle (UUV) Concept began as a design brief to make use of the extreme torque characteristics of the patented eMAD motor system. The design brief also called on students to showcase the best of Finnish design and technology. All aspects of this project were conceived to be designed, and manufactured right here in Finland. eMAD motors were designed and engineered 100% at LUT University here, and that inspired us to take the Finnish theme as far as we could to feasible locally produced vehicle ideas. This is just one of the projects. The classic and dependable utility and military vehicle brand of SISU was chosen by Eeli to represent this design brief.
aiGO (A.I- Go!) was a 1 year design project integrated into Lahti Institute of Design learning processes, with multiple teams working on this funded client project.
Project manager Lee Walton decided to separate the design process for this ambitious project (to design and build a unique vehicle in 12 months!) into 2 distinct paths. Both processes began in September 2017. In total 37 students from various year groups, and specialities within Lahti Insitute of Design worked on this project.
Path 1: User Centred Interior and Exterior design for aIGO prototype vehicle.
This design path was taken by a small group of 2nd year students (12 total) of Vehicle Design, under the close direction of Lee Walton and experienced vehicle designer Timo Suomala (representing Sensible4 directly). The chief aim of this path was to create a 1:1 sized mock-up model of the bus interior, and to design the interior and exterior appearance and functionality of the prototype vehicle (to be constructed in 2018). The launch of the finished vehicle was very ambitiously scheduled for early 2019.
Path 2: User Centred Service and Strategic Design concepts, for aIGO steering group.
This design path was taken on by a multi-discipline group of 4th year Vehicle Design, Industrial Design, and Packaging & Branding Design students (25 students in total). This large group was split into 5 smaller groups who generated strategic product development concepts from in depth user research and detailed service design scenarios.
Some key milestones:
Kick-off to the project was in Helsinki on 14.9.2017 at the client Sensible 4 offices. Students were introduced to the engineering layout and ergonomics brief on 18.09.2017. I will explain results of each path in reverse order, as Path 2 was shortened at the request of our client.
User Scenarios – Path 2
A workshop day was arranged for 25.6.2017. A number of key clients to the aIGO project were invited to Lahti to take part in interview based workshops with our students. 6 Clients attended, and each client was placed with a small group of students. 25 students were divided equally among clients. Each group intentionally contained students from all 3 design specialities, Vehicle Design, Industrial Design, and Branding Design. Below you can see those client interviews in process. This day also enable all students to meet our main design client, the CEO of Sensible4, who formally presented the project to all involved.
The client workshop yielded 6 interesting scenarios, but this was reduced from 6 to only 5 due to a couple of scenarios being very similar. This enabled us to propose to our client, that we develop 5 very different product concepts. Students re-arranged themselves into topics that interested them. Group sizes were not equal, as they were based on motivation. Path 1 participants were much more experienced 4th year students who were given more freedom and autonomy in their work. Only a few key dates were scheduled for check-ups on their progress. The end results of their projects were presented to the client in person, on 28.11.2017. Below are a couple of examples from slideshows presented by students. Figure 3 shows a ski-bus scenario- privately rented and controlled by a group of friends, and Figure 4 shows how the bus could be implemented in the city of Tampere for an older generation of users. An enormous amount of information was presented by 5 groups.
Prototype Design – Path 1
Path 2 was much more intense and much more heavily guided by project design managers and the client. Sensible4 provided CAD data and confidential information for their technical solutions. They also invited students to visit their office and see the technology for themselves. The process consisted of planning around the users, and potential passengers of this bus. This 2nd year group of students was tasked with measuring and creating dimensioned and accurate layouts for the ergonomic requirements of the vehicle. The client dictated some basic limits, and mechanical layouts, and students needed to package people around this. Creative ideas began the process, but the most important achievement was to build a wooden mock-up of the bus interior. Students started with a very rough layout idea, see figure 5.
After client feedback, 2 different seating layouts of the vehicle were chosen and students very quickly constructed a full size wooden mock-up of the bus interior showing both layouts. This was viewed by all participants in the project, and our client was very impressed and pleased to sit in his bus! This mock-up was carefully measured by the CAD team of Sensible4 and directly affected the prototype layout. The design of our students was implemented almost fully by the client. The mock-up proved to be incredibly valuable for the design process. This mock-up was available for a highly secretive visit by Japanese designers representing MUJI. They were so impressed they funded the project, and later took over design management from us. Figures 6 and 7 show the large scale of the mock-up (still a very small bus).
I am unable to share confidential data in this blog post (regarding actual dimensions and design drawings) but I can share images of our happy client sitting in his bus design. See Figure 8. After completion of this task on 31.11.2017 the students began designing the exterior of the bus. The user centred nature of public transport design dictates that it should always be designed from the inside outwards.
Final presentations of Path 2 were on 14.12.2017. Interior and Exterior designs were shown, and many details were discussed at great length (the whole day) with our client via their design representative and on teleconference. All materials were shared with our client at all times. The results (the chosen designs) are confidential and omitted from this article.
2017 ended with 2 clear exterior design directions (very subtle detail differences) and some excellent requests from our client, for clarification on a number of points. The interior design task is huge, and the results were fantastic in terms of range and scope. The task for 2018 was to finalize those we can do, and those that we cannot. Our client aimed to begin construction of the framework, early 2018, and our exterior design plans were planned to be developed into usable CAD data during 2018. Interior has a similar path, running slightly behind the exterior timeline.
This is about the time that our previous secret visitors decided to invest heavily into the project, and to take over design responsibilities from us (only Sensible 4 know exactly when the MUJI deal was signed). This was a huge success story for a start-up such as Sensible4 and added massive funding and expertise to the project. The later stages of the design were led by Timo Suomala (and not Lee Walton) as the design school stepped aside and let MUJI and Sensible4 focus on producing the running prototype for the start of 2019! Two of our students were chosen by Sensible4 to work as interns during the summer of 2018, to assist Timo and MUJI with the final design and build process. Those talented individuals were Jaakko Järvinen and Jarkko Salonen (see fig. 14). They worked essentially as the internal design team for Sensible 4, while externally the project was managed by MUJI Design. This proved to be an ideal situation for the project, but collaborating with a remote Japanese studio, while based in Helsinki can not have been easy! The team grew in size, and did an amazing job as the project came closer to reality.
MUJI GACHA 2018 – 2019
Officially, GACHA is a collaboration between Japanese furniture company MUJI and Finnish autonomous driving company Sensible 4. It is designed to be a ‘self-driving’ bus that functions under all weather conditions. MUJI take full credit for design of GACHA (copyrights were transferred to Sensible4 from the very beginning, and MUJI invested heavily into the project).
The final prototype build of the MUJI GACHA was guided by Timo Suomala and design work was done by Jaakko Järvinen at Sensible 4 (Jaakko continued to work on the project well into 2020!). The conceptual idea of a “Gacha” was a stroke of genius from MUJI design team, with cultural and aesthetic reference to the Gashapon capsule toy craze in Japan. These are vending machines that give out plastic capsules with random toys inside (see figure 15-17). The idea was, that the anonymous and versatile shape of the autonomous vehicle created by Sensible 4, could be used to “capsulise” and transport anything, not just passengers- was brilliant and really sets the GACHA bus apart from other concepts. Toyota later revealed a very similar direction for their own autonomous vehicle technology. A versatile platform, not just one vehicle.
Results were stunning.
One of the most exciting parts of the process happened in March 2019. The vehicle project became a fully functioning reality- and was unveiled to the world’s press on 8th March, at Helsinki Oodi library. Thanks to the MUJI brand, and their plans to open a store in Helsinki that same year- the press coverage was extensive. Project manager Lee Walton attended the premiere, and actually got to ride inside the bus. After testing the initial interior mock-up a year before, the similarities were very apparent. Our project kick-starting exactly the right user experience and mood that made it all the way to the final vehicle. The bench seats in particular- inspired by Finnish sauna culture and community seating layout were a standout feature. This interior aspect was talked up by MUJI chief designer in his presentation at the premiere, referencing the sauna influence. The bus drove smoothly on our test drive, in snow and ice. The interior ambience was particularly light, friendly and spacious for such a small vehicle.
During 2019 Sensible4 have received many accolades, such as Start-up of the year etc. The GACHA vehicle itself gained lots of attention, and universal praise for MUJI design. The bus won a very prestigious design award, from the London Design Museum within the transportation category for 2019. We couldn’t be more proud, as our student’s contribution was valuable right until the end of the project. We would also like to thank CEO Harri Santamala for approaching us and having the foresight to involve our young inexperienced design students. We are extremely happy that Lahti Institute of Design was the first place that came to his mind when attempting such an ambitious project. This is why we do what we do- and the success of this project gives us huge pleasure.
A few weeks ago STANCE18 happened. This blog post is running late, thanks to our exciting process of moving our entire Design Institute to a new campus facility! More news on this soon, but by coincidence we are moving to become very close neighbours of Ace Corner and the Motorcycle Museum. This was again our chosen venue for STANCE18 and once we are based nearby perhaps we will be more frequent visitors? Ace Corner is a friendly place that always makes us feel welcome. This year our exhibition was quite small – more projects will actually be unveiled later this year – but we had awesome Ace Burgers and a few beers and celebrated another group of talented Finnish designers leaving us for the wider world!
The weather this May was truly exceptional. The hottest for 30 years in Finland and we enjoyed the evening looking out across the vast lake we have here in Lahti. STANCE is about networking, it is about making sure that students, alumni, staff, businesses or anyone in Finland interested in transportation and vehicle design can get together socially. I will waste no more blog space and will let our students explain their own graduation projects (useful to have abstracts written in English), and you can see there were one or two other interesting things we exhibited. Finally we brought back our Suzuki 750cc motorbike that the museum had donated to us! Our students had transformed it into a Cafe Racer.
We also partnered with our usual sponsors Rightware (of Kanzi UI software fame), plus a newcomer called AirShaper! Rightware helped us present our annual STANCE Award- given for our favourite project of the exhibition. There have only been 4 winners of STANCE awards previously, and 2 of those are working in OEM vehicle design studios right now! In 2016 we also awarded a special online version, just that once. This year a project stood out at the show- for exhibiting a 1:5 scale clay model. Ivo Mukkulainen received the 2018 Rightware STANCE Award for his tireless dedication to creating a beautiful Jaguar branded design. His reward this year, was a 4 month internship at Rightware design office in Helsinki. We wish him the best of luck with his career. An exciting part of Ivo’s project was aerodynamic testing of his model, in a wind tunnel. How did we achieve this? Well it wasn’t a real wind tunnel, just a digital simulation thanks to a new online service created by AirShaper.com. A special offer of €500 simulation time (using their digital wind tunnel costs less than a real one!) was created just for us at STANCE, and you simply have to follow this link and sign up to their newsletter (it’ll cost you your email address) and they could pick you to receive the €500! This offer is only for STANCE followers, and your chances are VERY high!
Ivo can explain his project topic himself:
Jaguar SVO Project 9 – Future Classic
The subject is a classic car of the future.
I want to show how driver’s passion can continue in the future, considering future technology and standards.
New possibility to drive on the race track and not to be scared about consequences.
How Jaguar heritage and design DNA will continue in the future.
The North Face Exploration Vehicle
This graduation project is a conceptual exploration vehicle that is branded for The North Face and is suitable for both urban and natural environments. A major goal of this project is to encourage people who have spent most of their lives in the city to explore and feel comfortable going to areas outside of the urban environment. The inspiration, and overarching goal of this project, is to facilitate eye-opening experiences in nature and inspire people to take better care of their surroundings.
KTM 360 Electric Motorcycle Concept
My graduation project is an electric motorcycle concept for freeriding and exploring urban environments. With this concept l’m going to explore solutions and possibilities for urban freeriding. l’m aiming to introduce new ideas to the motorcycle industry inspired by bmx and freestyle mountain biking.
Nissan Kirei – Future Classic
My final project is the future classic vehicle concept. The car is designed for the year 2025 and vehicle should win the Concours d’Elegance competition in 2050.
The main focus of the project concentrates on the exterior design of the vehicle.The car should stand out from the mass and awaken great emotions.The car has to be futuristic and there should be elements that make it a classic in the future. I have chosen Nissan for the brand, because I’m not so familiar with Nissan. I also wanted to choose a brand that does not have a classic car so far. The purpose of my project is to be a Vanguard for the Nissan and help the brand to create a classic car in the future.
I’ve tried to find elements and issues for the project that make products classic and iconic. The written part of the thesis consists of the steps of the project’s progress, brand history and Concours d’Elegance competition.
Trimoto – Endurance Motorcycle Trailer
The thesis focuses on designing a motorcycle transport trailer. With the market research, I strive to create a potential and useful concept for the market.
The result should be an affordable, lightweight and functional entity for fluctuations a Finnish weather conditions. The trailer should be able to carry two or three full size enduro motorcycles and their drivers’ accessories.
The thesis is perceived with a 3D model made by the Autodesk Fusion 360 modeling program and the physical 1:6 model.
In my Bachelor’s Thesis I have designed a houseboat for private use. It is suitable for year-round living in Finland’s varied weather conditions. The houseboat strives to solve the challenges of urban living in the future. Urbanization and rising sea levels resulting from climate change can affect the emergence of new forms of living in Finland as well as in the rest of the world. The houseboat I have designed is environmentally friendly and it is also suitable for going at the high seas.
Vator 27DC – Reviving a Finnish Boat Brand
The subject of this thesis is a study and a concept of reviving Vator boats with a new model and development of a businessmodel. Vator is a dead brand which used to be one of the biggest boat companies in Finland.
The procecution of the idea required research about contemporary boating and how it should evolve in the future.
The idea of owning things is changing and since boating is concidered as an expencive hobby there is no doubt that it wont affect the boating culture aswell. Major part of the process is to focus on customer needs and demands in the near future without forgetting a boat that suits multiple purposes.
Mega Yacht Concept for 2040
This thesis is about future possibilities of yachting and new younger generation users.
Focus on this thesis is on future technologies and younger users. What is possible in the future and what do the younger generation want from their yachts. A fictional user has been created for this thesis to get more realistic end result. User is based on a future research. The design of this yacht came from the futures possibilities and functions that user needs. There is no companies or any other contractors.
Thesis is fully based on a research and fictional user needs. Design is created based on research and sketching all the way to the final 3d model.
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.
24th of May 2017 saw the opening of our STANCE 17 degree show. We would like all of you to take part in choosing a “people’s favourite” from our exhibits. So here are all 8 projects that were on display. Take a look through the images, then use the comments to vote. Or head to our Facebook page, or twitter!
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!
We at STANCE have had a very eventful term this autumn, and we have a few interesting projects, topics, and events to report. The first we want to talk about is a unique and outstanding opportunity we had this year to employ the services of Italian designer Mr Boris Fabris. In addition to being an extremely nice man, Boris Fabris is a very experienced car
designer- with many production projects to his name. Born in 1972, in Rome Italy, Boris has been working in Turin for nearly 20years and most of those years he has worked at the legendary design studio of Leonardo Fioravanti. One of Bori’s most prominent vehicle designs, was the very first Special Projects Ferrari- the SP1. This unique Ferrari was created
in 2008 for a wealthy Japanese collector.
As you can imagine, the chance to have a Ferrari designer visit us, with deep industry experience to pass onto our students- was a chance we did not want to miss. Mr Fabris offered to hold a one week design workshop, to impart as much of his knowledge and guidance as he could in a visit that proved to be too short (because we enjoyed his company so much). So in September, the Automotive Design Workshop was launched, and students from across our year groups were invited to take part. In total 22 students (the maximum capacity!) were enrolled, and the intense course began on 5th of September with Boris introducing himself to all of our students. After some fascinating insight into the design process, and also some glimpses of his own work, students were all excited and enthused to begin. Boris gave students 2 different design projects within one week. The work was intense and satisfying, with results being demanded so quickly. Boris expertly guided the students to produce ideas and think through the design problems of creating a vehicle as quickly as possible. Enthusiasm was high, and Boris had even carried his own personal car design library with him (some very heavy books to bring from Turin to Finland!). The history of Italian car design, and also the specific experience of bringing a design from sketch to being stamped out in a factory was something we hoped Boris would bring to us, and he delivered these things superbly. Students worked through one brief- for a contemporary luxury coupe- then later in the week Boris used his expertise to place the students into groups
that we knew would simulate a typical design team experience. Those groups set to
work designing a future mega-city urban vehicle design. Group work (once it got underway with the second design brief) was strongly emphasised by Boris, as was team leadership, decision making under pressure and many other real-world, real pressure automotive design industry practises. Our students felt that they gained huge experience in just a matter of days.
The group projects were presented at the end of the week, at the Oy Oy art gallery in Lahti, where we decided to show all of the project work along with other vehicle design artworks by our students (see separate blog post). The two events fitted together nicely, and Boris was happy to publicly show some of his own skills by sketching at the gallery! The intensity of the course and the hard work encouraged by Boris, was only possible thanks to his friendly and warm personality. We will always be grateful to him for visiting, and we would also like to thank the City Council of Lahti for funding of his visit (thanks to our award prize money of 2015).
A gallery of Boris and students at work follows below.
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.
August at STANCE means that our school term starts, and it also means the annual trip to Vanajanlinna for the sports car show event, presented by Suomen Urheiluautoilijat. Always a great gathering of superb collectors cars, at a wonderful countryside hotel venue, anyone who’s a fan of cars will enjoy this show as much as we do. In 2014 STANCE were invited to unveil a project our students had spent many years working towards, our Gravity Racer. In 2015 we are visiting more informally (maybe you’ll see us there) but I thought I would remind you all about the show, and publish some images regarding our Gravity Racer, or Soap Box car as they also known. A huge amount of work was put into this car, completed in 2014 by our first Vehicle Design graduates (2015 graduating class), with help from Lappeenranta University of Technology, and our own Fashion Design students for their expert fabric knowledge.
Studio shots of the design show the attention to detail of our students work. The process of creating the vehicle was lengthy and experimental. It is entirely custom made using a welded steel tubular chassis with cotton fabric fitted and stretched over the top. Check the gallery for more images.
2015 is the year that our first Vehicle Design students will graduate. Vehicle Design has always been part of our curriculum here, but 4 years ago we began teaching it as a full time Bachelors level degree. After 4 years our students reach a high level of competence, and to showcase their skills they collaborated on a project led by a professional car designer. The project gained recognition in the automotive design world, being featured on Auto&Design Facebook page and kickstarting a lot of local press attention too.
Our student’s brief was to create a new benchmark for a premium electric vehicle segment in the year 2025. It was to be branded Mercedes-Benz.
After three intensive months of design studies and weekly concept development stages, here is the final design.
The story of the design is shown at Behance, or in the following gallery.