} ;

Bentley-RCA student collaboration highlights

08 October 2018 | by Michael Gooderham

Bentley have highlighted four student projects from their recent collaboration with the Royal College of Art in London, which subscribers to Car Design News can take a deep dive into by clicking here. The brief for this ‘live project’ was to devise an answer to the question: “What will British luxury mean in 2050?”

Bentley designers provided tutelage and feedback during the course, with design director (and former RCA alumnus) Stefan Sielaff saying “Bentley has always been at the forefront of automotive luxury, and with this collaboration we asked millennial students for their vision of the future.”

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“We wanted ideas and concepts that could potentially lead us in new and interesting directions, using the perspective of these digital natives – from all over the world – to see things differently. These second-year students are the ones who will be designing the cars of the future – the taste makers in training, if you will. That’s why the results of the challenge are so exciting,” he added.

Of the 24 responses to the brief, the following have been, says Bentley, “identified as being particularly thought provoking by RCA lecturers and the Bentley design team”:

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Luxury Soundscapes, by Irene Chiu, gives occupants selective hearing by filtering out undesirable noises from outside, leaving (and even amplifying) only what will enhance the experience of autonomous travelling.

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Material Humanity, by Kate Namgoong, imagines that the standard scenario of manually operating an engine-powered car will become a high-value privilege in the future, with the inner workings of internal combustion becoming something to be celebrated in a similar way to today’s mechanical watches. The model itself was hand-formed in metal.

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Stratospheric Grand Touring, by Jack Watson, depicts a vehicle that can transform from a static, reflective sculpture into being a stratospheric EVTOL transportation device that makes it possible to commute from, and live, anywhere you like.

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Elegant Autonomy, by Eunji Choi, is a “superyacht on wheels” meant for transporting the upper classes in smart cities. It considers British etiquette and how ingress and egress have evolved with the automobile over time, and projects that evolution into an autonomous future.

Dr. Chris Thorpe, Senior Tutor in Intelligent Mobility at the RCA, commented: “How do you make tomorrow’s personal journey an emotional experience, as evolving culture, disruptive technology and personal desires change tomorrow’s car? Our students tackled that question when Bentley asked them to look at automotive luxury over the next 30 years.”