In its bid to strengthen the automotive sector in the new normal, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) hosted its 15th Styling & Design Conclave on 19th February 2021 virtually. With the theme “Influence of the New Normal on the Future of Automotive Design”, the conclave witnessed leading experts from automotive sector to deliberate upon the industry’s need to reimagine design capabilities as per the new normal.
The virtual conclave also had select presentations from the Automotive Design Challenge (ADC) 2020 from design students, depicting new ideas on the future of automotive design. The challenge has been an outstanding initiative by SIAM presenting a platform to the aspiring automobile designers to showcase their talent and capitalize on the opportunities for future.
The theme session had leading luminaries from the sector highlighting holistic and collaborative efforts of the industry players in reinventing product design and operations whilst pioneering design innovations of the future. They shared their experiences, cited case studies on iconic products and effective design process and emphasized on the role of design in building and sustaining brands.
Beginning with the opening address, Mr Malo Le Masson, Chairman, SIAM Styling & Design Group & Head-Strategy, HeroMoto Corp, said “Due to the impact of the pandemic, the industry has to initiate a course correction, which we call the new normal. Designing has been all about transporting more people in less space and shorter time. But after Covid-19, even in mass transport we need to ensure that individuality is preserved.”
Mr John Antony Sahs, Head of Design, Nissan Latin America, Brazil said, “There are major disruptions globally due to Covid-19 but it also mean endless possibilities for the future. Working from home is the new normal and working together includes a certain degree of insulation from each other. The future of designing human existence is going to be Phygital, a combination of physical and digital, focussed towards new customer experience.”
Mr Teofilo Plaza Garcia, Head of Design, Hero MotoCorp, said, “The vaccine is like the light at the end of the tunnel as we observe a bounce back in global transportation. There will be a global shift to Two-Wheelers as a prominent personal mode of transport as well as big shift in recreational products, which has gained prominence in the new normal.”
Mr Markus Wechselberger, Client Director, KISKA, Austria said, “In urban mobility we realize user needs are constantly evolving. One of the most significant fear is of car ownership dropping by 80% in the USA. A situation will evolve where one may only pay for service on demand. Design and Styling is completely irrelevant and have bigger objectives, which is to solve a problem. It is your magic tool to create the future of mobility and will help introduce new product and services. In the long run, designing will be all about user experience and branded emotions.”
Mr Detlev Reicheneder, Sr Director – Industry Strategy Design & Manufacturing, Autodesk, Germany said, “The design studio of the future will be fundamentally different than that of the past. It will be all about creating and visualizing designs and ideas, managing processes by cutting non-productive time and furthering innovation, and about ensuring customer experiences by bringing people together from across the world through virtual reality capabilities to on the designs.”
Mr Thomas Dal, Dean – Strate School of Design said, “There can be two scenarios in the future. Either cars of tomorrow will look like a car with a difference of experience or they will be diminished. OEMs will be shifting from being metal shaper to programmer and there will be a shift from ownership to user-ship”.
The conclave involved a brief presentation of automotive designs by ten shortlisted students of ADC’2020. The top-three winners of the ADC 2020 were Mr Harmeet Singh, from National Institute of Design as the first prize winner, followed by Mr Rugved Atul Patil, from World University of Design (WUD) as the first runner up and Mr Ganesh Borse, from National Institute of Design (NID) as the second runner up. The audience consisted of designer practitioners from Auto OEMs and Component Suppliers, Design Students, management executives from the automotive fraternity and concerned stakeholders.