With all the recent talk about how self-driving cars are going to change the way cabins look, it’s easy to forget about other interior design transformations taking place in the industry. After all, automakers are experimenting with more than just autonomous technology and funky seat configurations. There are new materials and fabrics, mobile gadgets and government-mandated safety requirements, to name a few.
In an article titled “Why the car interior is set to change,” auto news website Drive sheds light on the looming “design revolution” coming to car interiors.
The article begins with two of Holden‘s interior specialists sharing their thoughts on how automakers are starting to re-think traditional car interiors. Here’s an interesting excerpt from the piece:
Sitting in your car is about to become a very different experience. After decades of evolution, an interior design revolution is on the way, according to two of Australia’s leading experts, with re-thought layouts and new or re-invented materials coming our way.
Frank Rudolph, chief interior designer for Holden, and Jenny Morgan-Douralis, Holden’s color and trim designer, both believe the inside of cars is set for a major re-think. […]
To that end Morgan-Douralis is not only looking for new materials to use inside but also trying to find ways to reinvent the materials they already use.
As an example she points to the Buick Avenir which features a heavily textured plastic panel on its interior that drew praise from media and other designers for its premium appearance.
“It’s almost like a glass,” Morgan-Douralis explains. “It’s glass-like but it’s a polymer, high-gloss. It’s deep, it’s cut into the back of the surface.”
Although both designers admit the word ‘plastic’ can invoke a negative response (Rudolph says it has been “abused”) the treatment in the Buick concept shows what is possible when designers approach the interior with an open mind.
“As soon as you use the word plastic it has connotations,” Morgan-Douralis says. “But you can look at that and go ‘no, from a purist’s point-of-view [that works]. And working in advance, you might look for ideas and see it in glass and think ‘how do we interpret that?’ And it might be in plastic… You can make it look beautiful.”
The article continues with a rundown of “the 10 ways the car interior is changing” — tackling everything from fabric to controls and comfort. It’s, by far, the most comprehensive breakdown of our changing industry that we’ve read, and sheds light on what we as auto trimmers can expect to see at our shops in the next 10 to 15 years.
To read the full article, see: “Why the car interior is set to change.”