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Car design process

Below we show you the process that DE LUSSAC Studio follows when it comes to generate a car design, a transport design or an automotive design in general terms:

STAGE 1: Early Specification

Vehicle development usually begins with a series of strategic meetings comprising a multidisciplinary team from departments including design, marketing, and establish parameters - real and conceptual - of how the design development process will advance and what the timeframe will be. During this period a design brief is created, allowing the design process to begin. Vehicle type, powertrain, materials, customer audience, production considerations, and final vehicle price may all be considered.

STAGE 2: Concept Generation

Usually a design boss will encourage some or all of his designers to generate concept designs inspired by theme and mood boards that contextualise the lifestyle and product segment criteria of the vehicle. These mood and theme boards are usually generated in earlier planning meetings. Theme and mood boards may focus on elements like emotions that the vehicle, a theme that suggest evolution. They also may reference one or more existing or historic vehicles, benchmark a competitor vehicle in order to create a response to it, and may even look at an entirely futuristic context or ask "what would we do if we ignores everything we know in terms of brand heritage and instead just started over?

Once themes are agreed, an intense period of early sketching begins. Sketching is a quick and effective way to visualize large numbers of ideas. Though this period is highly competitive, designers typically encourage and enhance one another´s designs for the greater good. Often it is a case that designs that make the shortlist may have been worked on by a number of designers in concert.

STAGE 3: Design Shortlist

Once the design team has decided upon its favorite sketches, more sketches are then created from this  shortlist of possible designs. Designers that haven´t had their designs chosen will be redeployed on the shortlisted designs and will help generate more sketches showing different exterior - and sometimes interior - viewpoints or details of a vehicle.

At this point there is often further review by management, thought this will depend how many designs were being worked on in the first shortlist. It may be that management will decide to shortlist further or it may be that management decides to generate computeraided designs (CAD) models using softwares such Alias Autodesk. 

STAGE 4: Digital Modeling 

Once the last few designs are chosen, three-dimensional virtual or clay model development can begin. Digital modeling using CAD offers the possibility to evaluate designs using different virtual environments and to explore changes changes quickly, and the possibilities for visualisation in different environments.

STAGE 5: Interior Design 

The interior design of a vehicle begins as soon as possible after the exterior work has begun, usually three months later. The interior design of a car is more complex, incorporating a far larger number of surfaces and materials constraints and involves designers working in concert with colour and trim specialists. 

The colour and tream team research and create mood boards and colour, material, and even textural palettes for the interior design in line with the lifestyle an perceived customer requirements, as well as taking into consideration cost, weight, and safety restrictions. 

As with the exterior design, designers complete and then collaborate on the interior design of the vehicle. When the final interior design is chosen, 3D digital modelling can begin to generate mathematical data for the final model build.

STAGE 6: Final Model Build

Once mathematical data is finished, the prototype component parts can be produced ahead of the construction of a vehicle prototype. This can often even mean a working prototype, which may be assembled in the design studio or built elsewhere by a specialist supplier.

STAGE 7: Feasibility

Once management approves of a final design, the full-size clay is scanned to create a new 3D digital model and generate final data to be used by engineering and manufacturing operations to create final components and tooling parts. 

STAGE 8: Final approval 

Final approval for the design and the final green light is given by management for production of the vehicle design.