Future Cars

Ford goes back to school on interior design

Designs show full cabin touchscreen, detachable stools, fiber optic seats

Team Dies Nox

With the recent technological advancements in automotive cabins, have you ever wondered what the auto interiors of the future will look like? Ford went to interior design school to find out.

The company reached out to Ravensbourne, the famous design college in North Greenwich, London, to ask students to pitch interiors for the new Ford Fiesta. Their presentations were judged by Ford designers Jens Sieber (interiors) and Ivan Telesca (exteriors), with the final three going on to the European final against designs from France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The winner gets £600 prize money and a work placement with Ford designers in Cologne, Germany.

"This was a fantastic opportunity for Ravensbourne students to gain the experience of working for Britain's best-selling vehicle brand,” said Idrees Rasouli, Ravensbourne course leader. "Opportunities like this ensure our students learn the skills needed to thrive in industry, gain the chance to transfer their interior design and architectural skills into vehicle design and make them highly employable."

Team Dies Nox designed an interior around a 270-degree centre console screen running along the floor, roof and rear of the cabin. Passengers can use the display to swipe and share digital content, while surrounded by steam-curved bamboo, which Ford is researching for future material use because of its sustainability.

Team Iris drew inspiration from American fashion icon Iris Apfel, drawing on her “world’s oldest teenager” lifestyle in transforming the Fiesta interior into a social space with a pop-up roof and detachable, wheeled bar-stools for seats.

Team Nomad used fibre optics as an interior material, moulding it into seats that can house a variable number of occupants and can also recline. But it’s not just for show. The fibre optics relay information about the occupants to the car’s control module, responding to passengers’ body temperature and other health indicators.

“Ravensbourne’s students have very successfully illustrated possible future car interiors, inspired by the leap inside new Fiesta,” concluded Sieber. “I was thrilled by the quality presented, which took into account customer research to help shape workable next-generation interiors.”

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