Designs on Your Van: Royal College of Art Inspires Citroen
Postgraduate students, in the first year of the Royal College of Art’s vehicle design course, recently presented their ideas for the delivery van of the future to senior Citroën design chiefs. The ‘Global Metro Van’ design project is the latest collaboration in Citroën’s long-term relationship with the RCA. The goal is to develop and encourage young designers at the start of their careers and to examine new ideas on a variety of aspects of future vehicle design.
In developing their ideas for the urban van of the future, the project saw participants taking inspiration from a wide variety of sources, including nature, architecture and current technological trends. Urban population density, the environment and congestion were closely considered and a number of presentations even specified an all-new supply chain from source to the customer’s home.
The results of this original thinking included innovative emergency service vehicles, dual-purpose delivery/leisure vehicles, amphibious delivery vans and collapsible and expandable delivery vehicles. The three winners were chosen by a panel of judges that included Carman Visiting Tutor, Clive Birch and Professor Dale Harrow, the RCA’s Dean of School & Head of Programme. The Citroën judges were Design Director, Alexandre Malval; Andrew Cowell, Senior Design Manager; Lars Taubert, the designer of the Citroën Tubik concept; Richard Meyer, Commercial Vehicle Product Director and Patrice Lucas, Commercial Vehicle Programme Director.
Taking first place was Alexander Ibbett’s submission, for a concept inspired by the ‘train’ formed by a mother duck and her ducklings. Using individual wheeled modules (the ducklings), linked in a train to an electrically driven tug (the mother duck), this concept is designed to improve household deliveries, while cutting labour costs. As well as his prizes from Citroën, Alexander is the first winner of the RCA Vehicle Design’s Gold Medal for outstanding student achievement.
In second place, Alexander Brink proposed an electrically-driven articulated trike with an upright driving position located at the rear above the vehicle’s single back wheel. The ability to carry a range of demountable cargo containers at the front provided this concept with a high degree of versatility.
Taking third place was HoeYoung Hwang, with his concept of a vehicle for home delivery of luxury products. Inspired by Asian gift-wrapping, the judges deemed this concept as understanding brand values and the service levels buyers of premium products expect.
Andrew Cowell commented; “Once again, the RCA graduates have provided Citroën with the benefits of innovative, fresh thinking. It is a pleasure to work with gifted young talent, who are the future of the automotive industry.”