at the milan salone internazionale del mobile trade show, companies from all over the world showcase furniture and lamps every spring. Even some car manufacturers are inspired on site. Because there are definitely parallels between vehicle and furniture design.
Fine woods, brightly polished chair legs, soft seat cushions, forms like a modern work of art. at milan design week, companies from all over the world present their furniture, lighting and home accessories. And also some car manufacturers are present in italy. But bentley, ford, hyundai, mini, peugeot and lexus do not want to showcase their products. They are there to get inspiration.
"There are parallels between furniture and car design", says design professor lutz fugener from pforzheim university of applied sciences. "The elegant shapes and noble materials, for example." but above all, "it’s always the human being as the user that’s in the foreground". However, design ideas are more likely to rub off from furniture to cars than vice versa.
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This is primarily due to the long development times in the automotive industry. "Tables can be developed and produced faster than cars. There is a seasonal business, with cars it takes about four years from the first stroke of the sign to the sale", says fugener. And then the design has to last up to eight years.
"Arousing astonishing emotions"
Franz-josef siegert, head of interior design at porsche, sees differences between furniture and automotive design in other respects as well. "even the demands on materials such as leather are very specific in cars due to the extreme temperature stresses, UV light exposure and increased wear and tear." Wood, for example, must be splinter-free. In this respect, the similarities are often of an ideational nature. Gorden wagener, head of design at daimler, says: "furniture design, like car design, stands for the highest quality and value, as well as exquisite workmanship that embodies luxury and passion."
this is also the aim of the toyota subsidiary lexus, which announced a design competition for the second time. However, the focus was not on cars, but on objects in general that "arouse astonishing emotions" wake up. The young berlin designer sebastian scherer was able to win recognition with his oversized "iris" lamp prevail among 1157 entries from 72 countries.
furniture and car design are also close for scherer. Not only is a car basically a "large, very technical piece of furniture", but it is also a "very important piece of equipment", the creation process is also very similar. "In the beginning there is an idea, and it has to be realized. You first have to take a step back, question things, take them apart mentally and put them back together again." and it is precisely the function that will shift more and more in the future.
technology changes design
"We are experiencing a revolution of digitalization and networking", says mercedes designer gorden wagener. "Assistance systems enable particularly safe and comfortable autonomous driving. We no longer have to sit at the wheel and focus on traffic." this is one of the "great challenges for automotive design,
especially in the interior". And many new design opportunities arise. In the future, the car should be more livable and luxurious, offer plenty of space and sufficient safety. The process of driving becomes a minor matter.
At the same time, however, the operation of the car is becoming increasingly technical. This will also have an impact on the design. "In the future, the digital interface area will be strongly
change", says design professor fugener with regard to screens and displays. The challenge will be to design this technical environment as a living space on an equal footing with the home and the workplace. (dpa)
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