Design

Hyundai, Rhode Island School of Design studying mobility innovations inspired by nature

Teachers, researchers, designers, and students have come together to study new versions of mobility.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor Group

Hyundai Motor Group and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) have announced a new research collaboration to examine relationships among natural and built environments. The result of the partnership will be proposals for new directions for the future of mobility.

Hyundai has been showcasing long-range vision planning for the future in a number of areas in the last 18 months. The company is focusing on three mobility solutions: Urban Air Mobility (UAM), Purpose Built Vehicle (PBV) and Hub. The company recently exhibited their mobility display from CES inside their Korea headquarters (it's slated to hit the road on a tour later) and showcasing a human-centric futuristic vision for San Francisco.

Hyundai Rhode Island School of Design  mobility The meetings started out in-person in February but quickly moved to virtual experiences.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor Group

To better structure the research, Hyundai established a tesk force that includes four designers from their Design Innovation Group. RISD developed a new collaborative research platform created solely for Hyundai. According to a release, "four faculty members at the school leveraged their expertise to explore study areas supported by 16 students. Hyundai and RISD kept the participant size small, allowing for close collaboration, resulting in a distinctive study on the future of mobility."

The study examined four distinctive areas of future mobility, including graphic design, industrial design, sound design, and textile design.

  • Graphic Design – Posthuman Mobility: From Molecule to Machine
    Faculty lead: Anastasiia Raina, Graphic Design
    Responding to the evolving pandemic, this group explored the future of mobility in a microbe centric world by addressing the relationship between humans and microbes and our need to respond and adapt with agility to the new world around us. The research team developed models for collaboration with nature as an alternative to modelsinspired by nature. They focused on interspecies collaboration, cyborg nature, and designed nature, such as future mobility hubs and human identification methods utilizing augmented reality, virtual reality and machine-learning technologies.
  • Industrial Design – From Anthropocene to Aerocene through Biocene
    Faculty lead: Paolo Cardini, Industrial Design
    In response to the increasing need for sustainable options, this research group explored alternative trajectories for the future of mobility guided by artistic, scientific, and philosophical provocations. In particular, this group utilized negative speculative narratives to explore the topic of future cities and environment in the era of UAM. Scenarios such as privacy intrusion and bird strikes were considered.
  • Sound Design for Mobility
    Faculty lead: Shawn Greenlee, Experimental & Foundation Studies
    Drawing from the fields of bioacoustics and soundscape ecology, and experimentation in RISD's Spatial Audio Studio, this group worked toward developing novel auditory displays and sonic experiences with embeddable computing platforms and procedural audio techniques under a common theme of "Making the Un-heard Heard" in response to the current COVID-19 environment. For example, the group studied alternative "noise" for soundless electric vehicles.
  • Textile Design for Mobility
    Faculty lead: Anna Gitelson-Kahn, Textiles
    This research group drew from the fields of bionics and biomimicry in developing innovative textile solutions through speculative approaches and solutions gathered from a case study of the cockroach. The structure of cockroach provided insights into the safety of future mobility. Hyundai plans to further incorporate biomimicry methods into its study.

The partnership officially kicked off in February 2020 with in-person meetings. The collaborative study moved forward despite the COVID-19 pandemic with meetings and discussions held virtually.

RISD-Hyundai Research Collaborative www.youtube.com

Hyundai and RISD will continue their partnership starting with a six-week summer research program focusing on lightweight structures and hygiene, inspired by nature. The partners plan to deepen their collaboration and form a longer-term partnership with RISD's Nature Lab providing a foundation for living systems research.

"Hyundai Motor Group's work with RISD is providing deep insights that will help us advance innovations in technology and design, paving the way for next-generation mobility solutions," said Youngcho Chi, Hyundai Motor Group's President and Chief Innovation Officer . "Through the collaboration, we've discovered that we have a similar vision for the future, and we're able to develop a common language and working methods that will provide a solid foundation for a more fruitful collaboration going forward."

"The post-COVID-19 era will require us to come up with new ways of thinking for our mobility ecosystem to evolve," said SangYup Lee, Senior Vice President and Head of Hyundai Global Design Center. "By conducting in-depth studies with RISD about how nature copes with change, we expect to gain fresh inspiration that can lead to the development of sustainable processes, next-generation technologies and innovative designs for the future of mobility."

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

WWE logos are shown on screens before a WWE news conference at T-Mobile Arena on October 11, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

They're used to taking it to the mat, but this autumn, the stars of the WWE will be taking to the internet as part of a partnership with Hyundai to produce a 10-episode video series that features storytelling centered around the passion for enriching people's lives. "Drive For Better" will appear on WWE's digital platforms throughout the second half of the year.

"As an official sponsor of WWE, we are excited to be working together to share the personal stories of the Superstars and help put a smile on people's faces," said Angela Zepeda, CMO, Hyundai Motor America. "We both believe everyone deserves better and this series is representative of that."

"WWE and Hyundai's shared passion for supporting local communities truly makes this a rewarding partnership," said John Brody, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Sales & Partnerships, WWE. "We are extremely grateful to Hyundai for their commitment and hope this series will inspire people across the country at a time when it's needed most."

The first episode of the series features WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns and his recent virtual visit with patients at the Children's Hospital of Orange County. It debuted in July and is posted on WWE's digital platforms and the Superstars' social media channels along with other episodes in the series.

The series is part of a larger partnership between Hyundai and WWE. The two brands have delivered custom content integrations across WWE's global media platforms throughout 2020. Hyundai is also the Co-Presenting Partner of WWE Clash of Champions on Sunday, September 27 and will receive weekly exposure in Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown programming throughout the month of September.

In addition to the episodic programming, the partnership will work to promote Hyundai Hope On Wheels during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Hyundai Hope on Wheels is a charitable organization that recently provided millions of dollars in grants to aid with COVID-19 testing.

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The design study gives customers an idea of what to expect out of the next-gen QX60

Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

It’s not the next-gen Infiniti QX60, but it is darn close. The Infiniti QX60 Monograph is a concept car and design study of the forthcoming new version of the three-row SUV.

"We commenced the design of the Monograph knowing this was an opportune time to start a discussion about where we are planning to take the QX60 in the future and more broadly, where we are heading as a brand with our design language'" said Alfonso Albaisa, senior vice president, Global Design, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.

Infiniti QX60 Monograph Slim headlights and an athletic stance make the face of the SUV unique.Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

Consider it a detailed plan. Even Infiniti itself is relaying that the QX60 Monograph “provides tangible insight” into the new model from proportions to design elements. With the new QX60, Infiniti looks to not break the mold, which their buyers love, but instead refine what customers expect.

"In crafting this Monograph, we wanted to change the tonality of the QX60 and transform the nameplate from a sculptural and architectural point of view. We raised the visual center of gravity, giving it a strong, straight shoulder line that carries through to the hood, with a higher, more prominent grille, and longer-looking cabin to deliver a sense of muscularity and a commanding presence" Albaisa said.

The QX60 Monograph is more muscular than the current QX60, with distinctive athletic styling that sets it apart from the usual SUV crowd and gives it its own Infiniti identity. A long wheelbase, teardrop-like greenhouse, and sweeping lines give the SUV a new profile. A horizontal window line and wide backside are designed to give the concept a sense of poise and stability.

Infiniti QX60 Monograph The SUV’s grille features a fresh design.Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

Infiniti is showcasing the QX60 Monograph with a platinum plant color that mimics the qualities of liquid metal. It features a black roof that is on-trend for the current design environment. On top of the car is a panoramic roof that features a “kimono fold” pattern.

"The QX60 Monograph embodies the Japanese concept of 'Ma,' a sense of minimalism where designers seek harmony, adding just the right amount of elements with very specific meaning to create something special. This is evident on the body, where at a glance it is simple, but when you get closer, you see that there are elements that are playing against each other in a sense of harmony." Albaisa explains.

At the front of the SUV is a new take on the traditional Infiniti grille - a two dimensional surface that projects a sense of three-dimensional depth. It’s a mesh pattern that repeats on the car’s side intakes.

Infiniti QX60 Monograph Infiniti has given the SUV a black roof.Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

Infiniti calls the lighting at the front and rear of the SUV “Digital Piano Key” technology saying that it projects a “futuristic appearance”. The taillights are tinted and appear to wrap around the sides of the vehicle. The lamps are accompanied by a glowing “infinite road” brand emblem.

Infiniti QX60 Monograph The model’s taillights appear to wrap around the vehicle.Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

The interior of the model was not shown and not detailed as part of this design study. It is expected that a thoroughly modern, new interior is on tap for the next-gen QX60.

The production version of the next generation QX60 is expected in 2021.

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