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Renault Releases Psychedelic EV Concept Inspired By Furniture Design

An industrial designer's take on what a future electric city car should look like.

Dave Pinter
Dave Pinter on April 8, 2013. @DavePinter

Typically the Salone Internazionale del Mobile di Milano (aka the Milan Furniture Fair) is the event to launch a new furniture or product idea. Over the years, iconic British designer Ross Lovegrove has debuted a number of seating and lighting designs at the show. This year is no different, except that this time they are all within a car.

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Ross Lovegrove(L), Laurens van den Acker, Director of Design Renault(R)

The Twin’Z Concept is the result of a design partnership between Lovegrove and Renault to imaging what a next generation electric city car might look like. Lovegrove drew inspiration from nature and funneled it through the latest digital design tools such as parametric modeling, a similar work-flow used on his recent industrial design projects.

The car has become a symbol of our progress and civilization; an icon of our technocracy and our ability to transform materials into objects of great precision and physical presence.

The use of composites and recycled materials opens up new opportunities to combine textures and new skin expressions. Mechanical ‘hard’ aesthetics are making way for the biological principles of ‘soft’ aesthetics. As a consequence, designing a car no longer consists merely in improving the look and feel of the drive experience. It involves harnessing a new attitude towards how we integrate vehicles into everyday life by reducing harmful emissions, dematerialising the car’s physicality to achieve lightness, and maximising not only its footprint but also, and above all, its efficiency and intelligence.

Designers at Renault created the overall shape of the car, which may hint at the next Twingo model. Lovegrove and his team developed the exterior details. The design of the wheels were inspired by branches and were fabricated as a single piece.

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The roof incorporates dynamic LED lighting that is sandwiched between several layers of glass. The colors and patterns move from front to back as the vehicle is driven.

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The interior design is the real standout piece of the Twin’z. Lovegrove adopted the idea of ‘dematerialization’ which resulted in a flowing and simplified interior space. The bold blue color used on the exterior continues inside with contrasting yellow flow lines that emphasize the organic shapes.

The driver and passenger seat reinforce the openness and are made of a frames that grow out of the floor wrapped with a mesh textile.

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The instrumentation and controls are segmented between two removable tablets. All the traditional switches and knobs have been converted to digital.

For now the Twin’z is a one-off concept and Renault hasn’t released any information of production plans. While the interior is ambitious from a manufacturing perspective, the exterior looks feasible. One possibility is a limited-edition Renault X Ross Lovegrove model like the Smart + BoConcept edition.

Renault

Ross Lovegrove

Thinking...