‘Current car interiors reinforce 1950s family dynamics with dad as boss and everyone else sitting there doing nothing. This is not how the modern family works nor is it the way we interact with one another in the home environment,’ says former Lego designer Adam Phillips. He is presenting Family Dynamic an interior design concept that expresses the needs of the modern family.
Designed as part of his graduate project in vehicle design at the Royal College of Art, the concept mimics the dynamics of the modern home. It has been designed as a range of modular components allowing the interior to be configured to suit the size of the family and their needs as well as evolve with its occupants through the different stages of their lives.
The designer explains: ‘Some areas are fixed but you can add more things and rearrange it to suite your needs. When the kids are young they will sit in the back, but as they get older they’ll probably move to the front and perhaps then take the car for the weekend.’ The rear turns into a mini caravan.
‘Kids are often more capable of working with computers and gadgets and therefore play an active role in the family,’ he continues. ‘This interior space is trying to facilitate that by not creating such an obvious break between the home and the vehicle. My design mimics life in the home, where the occupants have greater interaction.’
An extension of the family home it therefore carries through much of the living room’s aesthetic. ‘It is important for the car to have a similar texture to the home,’ notes Phillips. ‘We also have large expansive windows to open the space and so that kids don’t feel trapped and sick.’
There is flexible seating arrangement and a special interactive wall using digitally enabled glass that spans the length of the passenger space. It connects the occupants and allows them to collaborate through applications such as movies, gaming or communication.
‘The most negative thing is this fashion for MPVs that are like a sports car for the dad who likes to drive,’ says Phillips, adding, ‘but having a family is much cooler than being a boy racer.’
Phillips initially studied exterior design at Coventry University in the UK but soon changed directions to study toy design which lead to a job in Hong Kong as a toy robot designer. ‘I created one that is like a ten year old boy,’ he says. ‘I like the technology side but also the human side and this is what I didn’t get from the exterior.
‘I think the signs of change are already there in the automotive world,’ admits Phillips, noting: ‘The interior will become more interesting as the technology is there. It just needs to be implemented.’
Read my report on Show RCA Vehicle Design published in Wallpaper*.
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