by Emmanuel GENTY - Design

#IAA2017 RENAULT SYMBIOZ CONCEPT: THREE QUESTIONS FOR STEPHANE JANIN

Stéphane Janin was appointed head of Renault's Concept Car Design department in 2014. In this capacity, he led his team in developing the SYMBIOZ concept car presented at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. Compared with previous concept cars TREZOR and R.S. 2027 Vision, the approach was totally different this time round, since the concept is linked to a real home! Stéphane Janin talks about this original approach.

Is a concept car such as SYMBIOZ designed in the same way as any other concept car? Does it change much to link the car with a home?

No, the car clearly isn't designed in the same way! We had to adapt the way we worked to take account of an aspect that was completely new to us: the presence of a car in a domestic setting! This meant placing particular emphasis on how the car is perceived, the way people feel on seeing it for the first time.

This objective is reflected, for example, in the soft curves and colors and the significant transparency of the windows. Copper was a logical choice for the body because it's a soft shade to look at. It makes you think of a domestic setting rather than a “machine”. The crystal finish of the glazing adds a sense of serenity to the cabin.

How is the home brought into the car? And conversely, how is the car brought into the home?

To bring the home into the car in a clearly visible way, our first step was to match colors and materials. Hence the choice of copper for the exterior, as we said, but also grey with touches of blue for the interior. These colors are fairly standard in modern, uncluttered homes, a sort of "Scandinavian" approach, you might say, that is very eloquent.

In terms of materials, the vehicle features wood, marble and even porcelain, materials frequently used in home building and decoration. The challenge was to apply a high-tech approach in terms of cut and finish, adapting them for use in a car particularly in terms of weight. Without forgetting the felt used on the armchairs in SYMBIOZ, which is the same as for the domestic couch. A creation by textile designer Aleksandra Gaca.

Conversely, you can see that the house has no walls or interior pillars. The entire ground floor is a huge living area. A configuration inspired by the vehicle cabin, which has no B-pillar or transmission tunnel.

What are the most remarkable design features on SYMBIOZ? What would you like to see on Renault's future production models?

First, I would like to see the body style of SYMBIOZ. I like the idea of a low-set, elegant MPV. Thanks to our innovations in the design of the superstructure and glazed area, it has a vast cabin bathed in light. We are looking at the family car of the future, a car with contemporary edge, immediately identifiable as a Renault.

Finally, if I had to pick out one detail, it would be the marble in the cabin, on the dashboard and small central table. This plays a significant role in conveying passengers into the world of house and home.

Tags: #IAA2017