Design Conjecture – Lighting and the Car


The Area of focus my research and project will be around is the interior of the car and more specifically the passenger experience within that space. There are a lot of avenues to go down that then share alleys of their own, and I feel a bit overwhelmed by the possibilities of it all. What I find, in some ways, kind of discouraging is also the amount of so-called answers that have been provided to fit these possibilities. I couldn’t go through all the concept sketches in renders if had the rest of my life to do solely that, for it has only been all of human existence that has looked forward to the future. And I don’t know if there is anything like cars that have inspired us to imagine the face of the future like they have, and so unsurprisingly the futuristic car design market is certainly oversaturated with a great deal of ideas and concepts. The only encouraging thought of it all is hat most of them are highly improbable and unpractical.

Most any designer can come up with something that is cool but coming up with something that is not just cool but works is the real trick.

For my focus I wanted to do something of this nature, cool but also practical, because the unpractical has already been shown off to everyone with eyes. What I did was I started thinking about what some of my research reflected as a whole, and one of my take a ways was that humans truly desire the ability to chose and customize our surroundings. In so many recent car design choses, the underlying theme seemed to be customization.

Whether that be how the design looks or how adjustable the seat is, it was about customization. While there are many routs to take, one of the ideas that really struck me as a cool possibility was interior lighting of a car. Right now there is a whole trend of interior lighting that is evolving into something quite artistic and beautiful. LED under strip lighting to change the tone of theme of a room, spot lighting that boasts varying color schemes that project on the walls, overlapping one another in some cases. There are now even light artists, artist who digitally create a picture or a GIF that can then be projected on the wall or ceilings. Such things have been seen in the homes of wealthy celebrities to now the small hair salon down the road, and now in the houses of the individual.

The point is, is that there is a whole new way of decorating and expressing ourselves emerging quietly but rather disruptively. The reason lighting interests me so much is because it is not a permanent change, unlike most design before it! Say I take one of these multi-colored orb projectors and shine it on my wall, well if in two weeks I don’t like it I can move it to another part of the room, change the colors or pair it with something else. Lighting allowed for quick changes. Lighting also has a massive effect on our moods which moves into a whole other realm outside of desires and into one of deeper meaning and understanding human behavior.

I find that lighting may be a quick and fun fix to the solution of people desiring to have more personalization in their vehicles. Currently being able to light up the inside of your car like a club on a summer Saturday night might not be greatest idea, as that would be pretty distracting from the road and have a cost on your visibility, but I am not considering now. I am designing for the future where the car drives itself, and the need to look out to the road isn’t needed.

The concept I’ve come up allows for individuals to design their car interiors to fit their own identities and desires while allowing the car brand to still maintain their “VBL” so to say. Not only can lighting offer a fun, “cool” aspect but in a more practical consideration it can also be used to communicate important things. For example the lighting system changes in certain parts if you don’t have a seatbelt on, or blinks softly when the charge is down. Or perhaps if a tire goes flat or is low on air a soft blinking light by that area can alert the passengers to the problem.

A lot of colors evoke certain emotions within us, so lighting can be a super fun language to bring into the automobile world to solve communication problems.