Milan Salone 2015 – Students of the Material Design department of the University of Art and Design Offenbach have collaborated with BMW on a series of smart interactive surfaces.
The collaboration explores how haptic interaction will change our future driving experience. Working alongside the BMW design team, the students developed prototypes and scenarios focused on using surfaces as a medium for communication between the car and the driver.
‘The theme was set around intuitive interaction through material innovation, replacing all of the buttons we now have in cars with tactile smart surfaces,’ Material Design student Frédéric Kreutzer tells LS:N Global. In his project Organic Interactive Skin, Kreutzer proposes a flexible structure constructed from modular elements that can be used to create aerodynamic elements and control the air flow through the outer surface of the car.
‘We tend to think about cars as fixed structures, like architecture on wheels or like an insect in a hard shell. In my mind that’s not an intuitive approach because a car is more like a large animal and it should have a soft skin that interacts with its environment.’ The highly tactile approach to interaction design is evocative of the Tactile Therapy design direction identified by LS:N Global during Dutch Design Week.