Explore Collaborations: Design Perceptions and Emotional Impact of Cars: a collaborative project with CarMen Gmbh


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Project name: Design Perceptions and Emotional Impact of Cars: a collaborative project with CarMen Gmbh

Project information:

This project involved 2nd year Undergraduate in the subject area of 3D Design, Product Design and Transportation Design and Graphic Design, Interactive Design and Motion Graphics. The collaboration was a Group project with an external client.

An overview of the project:

This project has two stages. The first stage required the students to explore the correlations between social status/social group and their design perception. The second stage relates to a process developed by CarMen, described as 'Emotional Profile' (EP). The design of a vehicle creates through its form language a kind of visual message which has an emotional impact on the customer. CarMen would define this visual message as the 'Emotional Profile'. The students' task were to undertake detailed research using existing vehicles and to map their emotional profile. They were asked to draw up a working profile of a comprehensive series of vehicles that have similar characteristics and to develop up a "tool-kit" for analyzing future designs.

To view student brief click here

A description of who was involved in the project:

The client was CarMen GmbH, a company with major links within the automotive industry with their core business dealing with brand analysis/extension and the development of product planning initiatives. 2nd year students from the Transportation Design degree at Northumbria University participated in the project.

A description of the key outcomes of this project for all parties which were involved:

For us the key outcome was the development of new thinking into strategic design planning specifically with relation to semantic profiling and attributing character to vehicles that are attractive to pre-defined consumer groups. Such invaluable information will be introduced to teaching material throughout the program.

Our collaborator comment:
Car Mens conclusion after the final presentation was that for students who had studied vehicle design for such a short time the results from most of the students were very good. They attempted to explore a field of research which was for them very new and probably difficult to grasp in such a short time.

We felt that the outcome could have been more significant had we had the chance to work more with the students and monitor and support their efforts on a day to day basis.

We hope nevertheless that the students have come some way to understanding the complexity of the market and the reality of customer taste.

In the final presentations there were many issues and results which we would have liked to discuss with the student but the time allotted did not allow for that.

Following the final presentation we definitely felt that we had not been able to give the students enough meaningful feedback and that we really needed the whole day. There only seemed to be time for negativefeedback.

The presentations of Luke, Chris, Thomas and Roy were particularly interesting and would have been good to discuss in more depth.

The evaluation of Objectives fulfilled is generally low as we felt that the research results which we wanted from the project were only in part understood and delivered.

We would nevertheless welcome the opportunity to run a similar project with more mature students and build on the experience we have had in this first collaboration.

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