The Umea Institute of Design is a fantastic seat of learning for young designers, located in northern Sweden. Students recently finished a project where they were tasked with designing a Saab concept with a twist.
Each of them was assigned a non-automotive brand to reflect on parallels that could be established between that brand and Saab, whilst also capturing the essence of the Swedish carmaker through their project’s concept, its proportions, surface language, details, graphics, functionality and material choices.
The brands used to infuse some flavour into the Saab designs included Nespresso, Nintendo, Apple, Gillette, Qatar Airways and others.
Snippets about each are from Car Design News (click images):
Nintendo – Jan Christian Osnes
Games console-manufacturer Nintendo inspired Jan Christian to create a social and fun city car that’s also able to venture into the wilderness to afford its occupants the sense of adventure offered by video gaming. The use of customizable graphics in the concept’s DRG and rear hatch screens reflects the online avatars offered by Nintendo. White body panels with fluorescent green highlights add to the product design feel. Its DLO and stylized three-spoke wheels are resolutely Saab.
Apple – Yong-Fei Han
Many parallels can be drawn between Apple and Saab. Both are focused on offering reliable, simple, yet highly functional products. Meanwhile, the American computer giant’s emphasis on design has enabled it to move not only into a more premium market space, but also a more profitable one. Inspired by Apple’s simplifying technology applications and legitimized by Saab’s own aerospace technology, Han has employed advanced by-wire technology to rethink and declutter the driving environment. A fully reconfigurable environment enables the driver to sit where he likes – left, right or center. Other aircraft references include a redesigned ‘wing’ grille graphic and an afterburner wheel design that reconfigures to cool the brakes. In side profile, the concept employs the traditional Saab proportions and graphics, while the unusual concave rear screen – nestling between a pair of buttresses – is a neat reference to the 1970s 99 model.
Gillette – Kosin Voravattayagon
While its exterior may be accused of failing to capture the essence of Saab, the interior of Voravattayagon’s project more than compensates. Indeed, it was awarded the ‘Student Design of the Year’ and ‘Best Production Interior’ at this year’s edition of the Interior Motives Design Awards in Paris. The concept is inspired by Gillette’s material use as well as its design purity – both traditional Saab values. Meanwhile, the center console has been pushed to the outer edge of the seat frames, optimizing the safety credentials Saab is famous for. Voravattayagon designed his project specifically for the Chinese market.