May 2021: Graduation in 2021 came early for our students, as the deadline and process moves earlier in the year each time. To the entire word’s surprise we are in exactly the same situation as 2020, thanks to the global COVID19 pandemic continuing. Our entire graduation process has been online from the very beginning this year, which presented unique motivation and working practice problems. We are proud to see that our students have coped very well with this situation! All seminars were conducted remotely, and once again a degree show exhibition was organised mostly via Instagram but with an added innovative public display across the city of Lahti. The open air presentation materials are of course much easier to view during the continued restrictions (for example, our campus remains closed).
STANCE 21 is once again limited to this blog/instagram format. What follows is information on each vehicle design project presented in 2021. One of this years projects remains confidential- but hopefully a later edit to this blog post will reveal it! We did manage to meet up at our favourite venue, Ace Cafe. Always a pleasure to be at such a famous motoring themed place and people. Summer was delayed as usual over here, and we had a rainy evening at Ace Cafe. Restrictions meant we could only be there a couple of hours, and in small numbers, but it is great to see that the Cafe is open serving excellent food and it was nice to see some old faces. We shared the tour of the new museum on InstagramTV. The STANCE 21 Award winner was announced as Valtteri Valli, and his is the first project listed below. Congratulations to Valtteri!
Jeep Adaptive – An urban car built for adventure
The inspiration for my graduation project came from an interest in functional design, compact vehicles and outdoor lifestyle. Through these interests, I had the idea to design a product that I saw answering a need of the future. This project is a vehicle concept with which I wanted to explore the idea of having a truly capable vehicle for both urban life and off-road adventures. I wanted to try to diminish the contrast of an off-roader and a city car by trying to combine the best of both worlds, into a true two-in-one vehicle concept. The vehicle were to be suitable for the city and answer urban life’s requirements, but have all the capability when moving off-road into challenging terrain. With this, I had set a brief for creating a compact vehicle concept for Jeep, for the year 2030. Focusing on building functional solutions and using new technologies, I planned to design a visually captivating and believable concept for both off-road and urban driving. The vehicle had to be electric and have space for maximum of 1+1 passengers. The package was to be as small as possible and possess the capability to transform from a city-going into an off-road capable vehicle.
ASTEREON – Character Concept for Transformers
Astereon is an original vehicle/character design project for the Transformers franchise, with a goal of creating a believable concept that is aligned with the source material and established aesthetics. This project explores storytelling with design and the landscape of Entertainment design through research, and experimentation. For Joona’s project, the main goal was to concept and design a Transformer inspired by the designs from the Transformer’s universe. 3D-models of the vehicle and robot mode were produced in the 3D-software Blender.
leef – Interior Design concept for community car utilising photosynthesis
This graduation work considers possibilities to use photosynthesis and its end products in the interior design of a vehicle. The future of photosynthesis technology and its possibilities are explored through interviews, and from literature. The concept includes a plant wall that generates energy from the Sun using plant microbial fuel cell technology, PMFCs. The floor of the vehicle participates in the generation of energy through photosynthesis. Additionally, the interior consists of different materials the production of which used the end products of photosynthesis. The light intake of the interior has been a top priority to maximise the benefit of solar energy for the plants and organisms using photosynthesis. The shapes and colours of the interior design were strongly inspired by nature and leaves of plants.
Tesla Model Z
The subject of this graduation project was to showcase a vision of what a high-speed electric family car could look like in 2040. Its conceptual goal was to challenge current ways of travelling long distances in an independent and CO2-free way. You may already be thinking why would we need a high-speed family car when its not legal to drive even at 90 miles per hour? That’s why the concept wasn’t only about designing a new kind of electric powered personal vehicle but a new infrastructural concept as well. It was named Tesla Highway Network. The network was designed to allow highly developed automated vehicles to travel at high speeds without human error being a safety concern. The purpose of this project was to offer an alternative for air travelling and that way reduce CO2 emissions. At the same time it aimed to make it easier and carefree to travel to meet relatives in another state for instance.
Mercedes Benz Cuckoo CitySkier konsepti 2035
The subject of thesis is Michelin Challenge design competition work, which theme was ”Inspiring mobility”. The thesis dealt with the ways of moving in big cities and their problems. The work was limited to Berlin in year 2035. The topic was backgrounded by examining the most typical light vehicles and their limitations under the law of the target country. On the basis of the acquired knowledge by applying and combining already existing mode of movement graduated concept, which connects the two vehicles into one service. The result was the aim of the vehicle and the user interface, which together create an alternative mode of travel to Berlin in parallel with an emphasis on public transport timetables independent travel.
You can also rewatch the final seminar presentations of our student works, from this YouTube video recording of our Zoom seminars. The feedback from staff and examiners has been omitted – as this was private for our students to improve their work in future. We were very pleased to have help from a Finnish car design legend, who previously worked for Pininfarina, Mazda, and Tesla. It was a coincidence that one of our students presented a Tesla project!
June 2020 – This year we celebrated the graduation of students that started their studies in the autumn of 2016. Because of the global COVID-19 pandemic the Institute of Design Degree Show could be organised this time only on social media platforms. The Institute of Design Degree Show was titled SPECTRUM. The STANCE20 show was held side-by-side with the MI Degree Show on STANCE social media channels.
All graduating students of 2020 were invited to display their graduation projects on the virtual STANCE2020 show. The show drew some valuable attention, although without an actual exhibition display, reaching a local audience turned out more difficult than usual. Some of the Vehicle Design projects were on display at the MI Degree Show, but the STANCE2020 show exhibited a total of 9 different vehicle design graduation projects. We were proud to show a large variety on the graduation projects; from entry-level super cars and specialised vehicles to production-ready trailers and service design concepts. These are the projects in our student’s own words.
KORG MEW/40 is a shared mobile workspace for electronic music. It provides tools for extensive music and sound creation as well as sharing and streaming. The vehicle is targeted at a niche demographics of professional and amateur musicians.
MEW/40 uses visionary technology such as haptic hologram touch-control and a generative music tool. The concept emphasizes KORG’s impact on sound technology over the last 40 years and envisions the brand’s future identity, while assessing the possibility of a vehicle concept.
Yoga Balasana is a vehicle concept for a city in 2040. This project goes through current and upcoming trends in our society. The concept is visually based on slow living and yoga. The final product is a 3D model and renders of an autonomous vehicle, where one can practise yoga inside.
Polestar Prebike is an all-electric motorcycle concept for the year 2025. The electric car manufacturer Polestar was chosen as the brand for the project. Polestar is a pioneer in technology and sustainability in its field.
In this scenario, Polestar wants to expand into the motorcycle market by creating new innovative solutions and developing already existing technology into a smaller and more efficient form. In the project, I study how Polestar’s values, technology and new design language can be brought to motorcycles.
2030 MITSUBISHI Urban EV Concept
2030 Mitsubishi Urban EV Concept is an urban car concept for the year 2030. The concept car shows what a small urban vehicle could look like in the future and what new possibilities future technologies bring.
Mitsubishi Urban EV Concept is a four-seater electric vehicle powered by two electric hub motors inside the rear wheels. The hub motors free up space from the front which gives more space for the interior. The objective was to have as large an interior as possible in the smallest exterior dimensions.
The design of Mitsubishi Urban EV Concept emphasises functionality and user-friendliness. It prioritises interior space and comfort, which is made possible by an intelligent layout, large smart window surfaces and a partial autonomous driving system. The concept has an advanced driving assist system for driving in urban streets, and on rural roads it can drive completely autonomously. The steering wheel can be folded behind the dashboard and the front seats can be rotated 180 degrees when the vehicle is driving autonomously. The large smart windows can display information for the passengers as well as change the tint and cloudiness of its surface. During parking, the windows can be made opaque to block the visibility inside the vehicle.
The task of DÆRK DRAGON project was to design an autonomous luxury vehicle for the Chinese market. The goal was to create a symphony of new technology in a luxurious environment. It includes new features such as hybrid hydrogen fuel cell drivetrain and hologram & gesture control. As a result of this project, a 3D model was made.
Lunaliner Concept Car 2030
I did my Graduation Project for Oy Lunawood Ltd which is a global marketing leader in Thermowood manufacturing. In this project I studied the suitability of Lunawood materials for a car and especially for its interior while implementing the best possible concept car to market Lunawood’s products.
The concept car to be implemented is set for 2030 when increased population growth will significantly increase traffic jams. At the same time, the concept is a solution for replacing time lost in traffic jams and utilize it with the benefits of the concept car. In this project, I testified that making a car is more environmentally friendly with the help of right materials and design.
In this graduation project I deal with the re-design of Weckman Steel Oy’s M-model series WS90M trailer. The purpose was to improve the overall appearance of the trailer by visually modernizing the look with new components, colors and graphics. In addition to the above, the trailer should be kept as cost-effective and easy to manufacture as possible, in order to be competitive in price. As a result, a 3D model was made that can be used to make a prototype of a trailer.
GACHA Robot Bus Service Design Concept
The main goal of this thesis was to produce a service design concept for Sensible 4 and Nokia to visualize scenarios that the GACHA robot bus could face in the area of Karamalmi Espoo. The scenarios were dedicated evenly between Sensible 4 and Nokia.
RAW by Koeniggsegg
RAW by Koenigsegg is a digital concept car created by Esa Mustonen for RAW Design House as his Graduation Thesis. The work was carried out under supervision and support of Christian von Koenigsegg and Sasha Selipanov. The concept car envisions a futuristic entry-level hyper car under an imagined “RAW by Koenigsegg” sub-brand.
RAW by Koenigsegg makes use of the world famous Koenigsegg technologies and know-hows. Mounted behind the innovative 3 seat carbon fiber occupant cell is the 3 cylinder Freevalve TFG engine which was first shown to the world in the Koenigsegg Gemera. Our ambition was to use Koenigsegg Automotive’s vast composite and light-weighting experience to aim for an unprecedented 700hp and 700kg, a new interpretation for the 1:1 power to weight ratio. On top of this, RAW by Koenigsegg has a strong focus on innovative aerodynamics with its flow-through architecture and jet fighter afterburner inspired articulated rear diffuser.
RAW by Koenigsegg offers a new type of user experience as it can be used in both the real and the virtual world. The car allows its user an opportunity to experience its performance and influence its setup in either real life or digital states using already existing highly correlative racing simulators.
RAW by Koenigsegg is an exciting vision of what a light weight entry-level hyper car of the future could look like.
The 2020 Stance Award is awarded to Esa Mustonen for his outstanding entry-level super car project at Koenigsegg.
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.
May 2019. The Institute of Design held a degree show again. Reminiscent of previous joint exhibitions, not held since 2016, this show was conceptually a rebirth (too many rumours of our untimely death). The title was REBUILT.
All graduating students of 2019 were invited to display their final design projects – and the location was our new campus at ISKU. We wanted to attract visitors curious about our new place, and we wanted to show our own friends that we share this new joint campus with, just what we do in the Design Institute. STANCE19 was integrated with this main exhibition. The event was curated and designed by a large team of talented staff and students. Vehicle Design graduates exhibited 7 graduation projects and one very special production vehicle. Let us start by explaining that one in the words of RMK themselves!
On 1st of February 2019, RMK Vehicle Corporation unveiled their first electric motorcycle, the RMK E2 at the MP19 Motorcycle Show in Helsinki, Finland. The E2 will be manufactured in Finland and production is slated to begin in late 2019.
The E2 packs a punch. 50 kW of power and an instant torque of 320 Nm will guarantee great performance with a limited top speed of 160 km/h. The unconventional motor setup offers a smaller rotational mass and unsprung weight that is comparable to traditional motor setups. The battery gives a range of 200 – 300 km depending on driving style.
The RMK E2 was designed by RMK with the help of our student Miikka Salovaara. Miikka contributed concept sketches and graphic design, working closely with the small RMK design team to create this bike. RMK are a lean start-up company so all hands were needed to create this radical design. The engineering of the hubless rear wheel and motor is particularly unique. We were very happy that RMK agree to display the bike for a few days at our STANCE/Rebuilt exhibition at Lahti University of Applied Sciences. It is very imposing in the metal.
Vision for 2050 Megacity Law Enforcement
a VTOL -aircraft designed for rapid deployment of up to four Law Enforcement
officers. It takes the manoeuvrability of a helicopter and combines it with
the structure of a car. The compact design allows it to manoeuvre and land in
within the narrowest spaces of a megacity. It features twin rotors for vertical
lift and two auxiliary rotors for thrust, as well as a wide variety of short to
long range -sensors for monitoring its surroundings. The bright colours ensure
visibility and bolster a strong but friendly presence. My goal was to create a
unique, yet believable design that is suitable for movies and games.
Lamborghini Raton, Autonomous Supercar
Lamborghini Raton is an autonomous supercar for the future, featuring
advantages of next generation automotive technologies. The goal is to replace
the pleasure of driving by new kind of user experience. The low sitting position
at the front brings a sense of speed.
The in-turned wheels create a new kind of connection
between user and machine. Raton is designed to look like a true Lamborghini
with the classic design features of their supercars.
D-segment SEAT passenger car
The Spanish car brand SEAT does not currently
have a passenger car model in the D-segment. The goal of the graduation work was
to design a proposal for a car of that segment based on the research work done.
The D-segment includes car models such as: Volkswagen Passat, Opel Insignia and
Our world is faster and more connected than
ever. The line between the real world and virtual is thinner than ever. This
world has many changing effects on human
life and thinking. From an evolutionary perspective point we are at the
beginning of drastic change. In this work my intention is to study what kind of
experience the future customer of Bugatti needs and to develop concept based on
Iiro Laine and Antti Paakari
Northern Multifunction Vehicle
In this graduation project we designed
fully electric multifunctional vehicle for Northern environment. In this
project we discuss about Northern circumstances and its challenges for vehicles.
Our vehicle is designed around electric powertrain and adaptability for weather
conditions and needs of the user. In our design process we discuss ideation, sketching
by drawing, clay modelling, 3D-scanning and 3D-modeling.
Keletric – Design research for Finnish small
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
As a graduation project I
researched the near future of aviation and created a flying boat concept. This
project does not reshape the aviation infrastructure but helps to understand it
and its challenges. A result is a realistic concept that offers private
transportation to remote locations in and outside of the infrastructure.
2019 Stance Award winner was announced later that week, at the Ace Corner venue. We really like our friends at Ace Corner and once again we met for an informal beer & burger chat with our outgoing students. That sunny evening the award for best project was presented to Janne Mustonen for his outstanding work on an electric aircraft project. Janne has a deep passion for aviation, and this project was a true labour of love for him- and the result was quite spectacular and unique.
2017 was an interesting year for us at STANCE. Many of our students are out there in the wide world, making their way in further design studies and we have even reached the point where some are graduating at a Masters level. In January our lecturer caught up with our student at the RCA in London, and we were very pleased to see two more of our graduates succeed him on the course.
Thanks to some issues with a passport- our travelling to see friends in Russia was somewhat limited. Despite this- our lecturer Lee Walton managed to gain an award. Our students participated in a short design competition, for the PUSHKA Design Forum in Moscow. Their brief was to design an automated delivery vehicle for the TRAFT brand.
3rd year student Iiro Laine placed 2nd overall in the PUSHKA Design Forum design competition, and was awarded a certificate and prize by the Traft company. Iiro’s innovative but simple concept, proposed re-using existing transportation trailers with modern self-driving tractor units.
Highlights of 2017 (our annual graduation show STANCE18 will be happening 25th of May in Lahti, watch this space!)
Kalle Keituri, our alumni of 2015 graduated from RCA London, then began his professional career as a designer at Rolls-Royce Motor cars in the UK.
Henri Hokkanen our alumni of 2016, began his professional career as a Designer at Valtra Inc, Jyväskylä.
Antti Vahtola, our alumni of 2017 began his Masters studies at Umea Institute and this year placed 2nd in the BRP Student Design competition, titled Urban Arctic Mobility.
Hilja-Maria Kaitila, and Olli Seppällä both began their Masters at the RCA.
Mikael Serjala and Mika Karjalainen began Masters studies at SPD in Milan.
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.
STANCE are holding an art exhibition! Here’s the info… (note: the gallery is closed on Monday and Tuesday)
This exhibition aims to showcase the art that happens behind the scenes, simply as part of our design process in Vehicle Design. Often these sketches and models are discarded or ignored as designs progress towards their final stages. The aim of our exhibition is to celebrate the artistry and creativity that happens spontaneously on paper, on canvas, on scraps of paper, on napkins at dinner, in our notebooks on the train etc. A designer must transition from art to commerce (a real product) but the emotion and energies of these early rough beginnings are vital to keep alive in our designs, in order to create successful vehicles.
In Vehicle Design, the designer must celebrate and practice their artistic skills.
These works are selected from current and previous Vehicle Design Bachelors students of Lahti Institute of Design and Fine Arts. Some works are selected from students of Transportation design at Steiglitz Academy of Art and Design in St. Petersburg, Russia. In 2015 our students worked with their peers in Russia for a 10 day automotive design workshop.
June 2nd 2016 – and we celebrated another graduation year for students that began their studies of Vehicle Design in 2012. We had a little VIP invitation only event, the night before the show. Four years of hard work, ups and downs, projects and discoveries, have led to this exhibition. This year we see the first ever female Vehicle Designers leaving our course, and they certainly had very interesting projects to display. We were also very proud to see incredible diversity and variation amongst these final projects. Our students attempted to conquer land, sea, motorsport, farming, other planets and interstellar space! Quick list of projects includes, a motorbike, a rally car, a leisure boat, a tractor cabin, a vehicle for Mars, an underground mining vehicle, and a spacecraft of immense proportions. As is usual for us (we are busy!) more info will follow in a more extensive blog post….
June 2016, our second ever Vehicle Design graduation show will arrive. STANCE16 will follow a similar format to STANCE15, with a public exhibition on June 2nd, following a VIP invitation only night on June 1st. We try to invite all of you who contribute to the automotive and vehicle design business here in Finland and across the world. Apologies in advance if we leave you out- let us know as our contact list needs to expand! First we have to prepare though, and even more importantly our students must complete their studies by creating a final thesis and design project. This year we will have a diverse range of projects and vehicles (no spoilers, unless they have aerodynamic function!) and we hope they will prove interesting to any visitors and our followers. 2015 gained us some great press coverage, for which we are very thankful. We bring you this blog post, to show what went into the show preparations last year and to showcase some of the projects once again. Please watch this space for news of this years show, and check your inboxes for those VIP invites!
Last year, students produced a couple of traditional 1:4 scale clay/hard models, another 3D digitally printed vehicle at 1:8 scale, and impressive digitally realised designs. Here is some information from our 2015 graduates.
Pekka Puhakka / Crawler – Batmobile
The goal of my graduation project is to study Batman as a hero and the phenomenon and history behind the character. Based on my background studies my aim is to design my own visual concept of the legendary hero-car called Batmobile. The end result will be a written graduation project, finished 3Dmodel and renderings of the model in an environment that is representing Gotham City. After the final seminar the aim is to produce 3D-printed plastic scale-model car to be used in all the possible presentations that are going to be held later on. The work represents my own vision of Batmobile. It has nothing to do with DC-Comics that owns all the copyrights to Batman and Batmobile. This is a student project and it will not going to be used in any kind of commercial purposes in future.
This is the graduation project of Vehicle Design course made in Lahti Institute of design (Lahti University of Applied Sciences) The subject of the project is a futuristic vision of a “search & rescue” vehicle for arctic regions operating both on land and in the air. In this project one concentrates on search and rescue work in certain areas, rescue methods used in arctic conditions and technology that is used in rescue vehicles operating on snowy conditions. The character of the project is meant to be a conceptual vision of future needs of search & rescue vehicle in arctic regions for a year 2035.
The topic of this graduation project is a competition work to an international automotive design challenge named Michelin Challenge. The Challenge has been organized almost every year and this time the brief is to design a people’s car for an already defined or self-defined market sector. I designed an electric or hybrid powered car and its market sector is South-Asia. In this project I have studied the conditions, roads, traffic and culture that affects the final design. I made a study of old car icons which have reached the people’s car-title in their own time. My concept is meant to be a very light weight and environmental friendly car and in its design process I have focused on the manufacturing. This car’s structure is 3d printed and the manufacturing is meant to happen locally close to the consumers. In this thesis I focused mostly to the car’s basic appearance, exterior and functionality but I designed also the interior to the car. This project includes a 3d-model, clay model and hard model.
Olli is currently teaching at LAMK and working freelance.
Kalle Keituri / Porsche 881
Chemistry and nature offer a lot of sustainable solutions to be used. Inspired by reactioms, forms and adaptability of advanced sciences, a conceptional idea for my graduation project was formed. By exploring the history of different car brands, Porsche was fullfilling the needs of my concept perfectly. My aim was to create a connection between Porsche design philosophy and chemistry. The concept idea is to make a bold and pure interpretation of a future Porsche sports car. My project concentrates on exterior design. Together with chemistry inspired innovative technological, material and aerodynamic solutions, the aim is to give Porsche design language another expression. The main focus in this project is the design process from early ideation sketches to an 1:4 sized scale model of the exterior and by this to develop my skills as a designer.
Antti Laukkanen / Pure Driving
Pure driving is a design study of an autonomous car interior. As it is a study of design, it is also a study of the core idea of driving and driving experience. My concept PURE differs from classic autonomous car interiors as my goal was to cherish the very original purpose of driving. Autonomous car interior concepts are almost without exception closer to normal livingrooms than what we consider automotive interiors. So in my research I focused on finding out what makes a good driving experience and how can I maintain the best possible experience, when we get rid off the steering wheel as it is essential in a contemporary car. I needed to find out what other senses and factors are activated in good driving experience. This concept is made for public use so it should show that it is accessible for wide range of users.
My research incldues the history and evolution of the car industry, its technical solutions from materials to powersources and also a new possibilities that autonomous cars bring along themselves. However, I didn’t want to go too deep in to technical solutions and manufacturability, but concentrate on materials and possible experiences and scenarios.
Big part of the research was the future and user research method, that I used to get ideas what is pure driving and which objects are essential inside the car. With this method I also wanted to show a new approach into future research and show that maybe we have to change our way of thinking about future users.
My first intention was not to brand my product for any brand but as I was doing my research I realized that it fits well in to values of Google. Google also launched their autonomous car concept little while ago so I thought that I have a good chance to show my own perspective of Google’s autonmous car interior.
The final product is presented in 2D renderings and pictures. In my design process I used also physical and computer model mockups as a design tool.
Sami Kallamäki / TOBI –electric assisted trekkind bike concept
Topic of this thesis is electric assisted trekking bike concept. Design target is aesthetic trekking bike for longer distances using todays technology and tomorrows innovations. Design drivers are credibility and clearness.
Sami is still to decide on his next adventure… contact us if you would like to make him an offer!
I would now like to share these exclusive images, which were not released to the press. These are rough images from behind the scenes during the 6 months of 2015 leading to our show. Images from our workshops, our design classrooms and finally setting up and running of our public exhibition in conjunction with the entire Lahti Design Institute in 2015.
Another gallery is needed to show the actual VIP event, and also the public exhibition. Most of these images were published by other news blogs at the time, but now we add some of our own packing up images. We had no idea we would be back at the same place 2016!
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.