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.
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.