A Family Car for 2012 (1998)
Matthijs van Dijk
Pininfarina Studi e Richerche
With only three out of hundreds of applicants being successful, securing an internship at Pininfirina was a dream come true for Lowie Vermeersch. He opted to create a car for the average family, rather than cater for a niche market.
His design was nevertheless futuristic, with an inside out design approach and aerodynamic outer shape. Traditionally, a car interior consists of the space that is left around its functional parts. Vermeersch gave his car a clean cut interior space with a raised flat floor, separating the interior from the functional parts, such as the hydrogen fuel cells. He also deviated from the norm of designing a car mostly for its driver, recognising that this leads to single-occupancy cars. His design reflects instead the typical family in the year 2012, less hierarchical and more a unity of equal individuals. This was reflected in four seating areas, similar in design, that are organised around a moveable and shared center console.
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(English subtitles available)
At the turn of the century, trends like increasing individualism, greater mobility and the advent of a 24-hour economy were at odds with the growing need for sustainability.
Vermeersch used colour to reflect the individuality of family members. Different colours symbolised the possibility of personalising each of the four seating areas according to individual taste, making each car a unique ‘sampling’ of its families identity.