Volvo's latest design, dubbed the "Concept Universe," marks the evolution of the storied car-maker's refined approach to the luxury vehicle. Chief Designer Jonathan Disley and his team hope to achieve a quintessentially Scandinavian design (check out his Tumblr for some vintage car porn) with a touch of Chinese inspiration.
There are virtually no hard edges to the exterior, where the designers have opted for subtle curvature to stylize the traditionally boxy mass. Disley explains:When we set out to create this concept, one of the first things I told the designers was not to draw cars for a week. With a pencil, one automatically draws hard lines, and that's not what we wanted here. Instead I asked them to design sculptures. That way, we brought fluidity and a sculptural gracefulness to the Concept Universe. We reduced the number of lines, and took away all visual noise, to make it as simple and elegant as possible. Without the edges, all lines are infinite, marking distinctive inspiration from Scandinavian furniture design as well as Chinese writing. The Concept Universe is entirely built by hand and took a strenuous 8000 hours to finish.
The designers augment the ultra-sleek overall form factor with a few signature details: namely, the unique concentric grille and headlights, as well as distinctive side-view mirrors, tail-light bar and, of course, the interior. Per the press release:The centre stack and panels are made in walnut with fine details in hand-painted china, giving a nod to Volvo's new owner and the age-old trade tradition between Sweden and China.
We'll spare you the rest of the pitch and leave you to discuss in the comments—thoughts? Praise? Criticism?
Ray is a contributor to Core77. Aside from design, his interests include art, music, cycling, urbanism, food, patterns, maps, coffee and em-dashes—seriously, he includes at least one in every post he writes.
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