> posted by   on December 14th 2014

Craft design(er)

Today’s and yesterday’s automotive designers are old industry’s metal and plastic gurus. There are thousands of young students dreaming of working for a big international car brand. Unfortunately, no school teaches young future designers new skills for tomorrow’s industry. Brands like BMW, Audi or Peugeot are experimenting more and more often with a completely new use of old crafts and traditional techniques that were used more than 120 years ago in this industry. Are we at the beginning of a crafts renaissance? Should we start teaching tomorrow’s designers more about handcraft than about mass production?

Just take a look at this Peugeot’s concept car. Fabric and leather are worked together in a process that optimises the use of resources. So, to avoid off-cuts and waste, the fabric is shaped using clamps. This simple process is inspired by the tradition of fine gentlemen’s bespoke tailoring. The fabric then presents surfaces with crisp folds and no stitching. Leather for use in cars has always been selected for the absence of markings and then tanned to make it perfect. Optimising the skins, Exalt makes use of imperfections in appearance to make each one a unique signature. Then the leathers are aged naturally, without the use of chemicals.

Black ebony wood has been selected for its rare qualities and its indigenous roots to the Asian continent. It bears a motif designed by the trio PINWU Design agency; combining a lion with bamboo stems and leaves, its creation was entrusted to a Chinese master craftsman using traditional techniques.

With Exalt Concept (2014), Peugeot unveiled its imposing vision of the car by following the approach initiated in 2012 with the Onyx Concept. Exalt aims to please the senses. It stands out at first contact by its radical styling choices and the materials selected.

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“Peugeot’s 125 year automobile history is punctuated by models that made their mark on their era. With the Exalt Concept, the Brand asserts its position and writes a new chapter. We are moving forward, resolutely and with confidence.” Maxime Picat, Peugeot Brand CEO

“Peugeot Exalt is made of raw and natural elements associated with innovative and efficient materials. The idea was to finish the car with useful touches and to do it intelligently with the constant objective of optimising processes to economise on the use of materials and reduce waste. This responsible approach is also applied in the local sourcing of materials, such as black ebony from the tropical forests of South East Asia.” Sophie Gazeau, Peugeot Exalt Colours and Materials Stylist

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