The collaboration is redefining elegance for the coming generations

Bentley, one of the world’s most sophisticated and luxurious marques, has collaborated with second-year design students from the Royal College of Arts (RCA) to envision its future. The students were asked, "What will British luxury mean in 2050?" Out of the 24 responses, four were selected by the lecturers at the college and the Bentley Design Team.

What Did They Have To Say?

Bentley and the RCA Team Up to Sketch the Future of Elegant Motoring
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Stefan Sielaff, Bentley’s design director and alumnus of the RCA, said, “Bentley has always been at the forefront of automotive luxury, and with this collaboration we asked millennial students for their vision of the future.”

“We wanted ideas and concepts that could potentially lead us in new and interesting directions, using the perspective of these digital natives – from all over the world – to see things differently. These second-year students are the ones who will be designing the cars of the future – the taste makers in training, if you will. That’s why the results of the challenge are so exciting,” Sielaff added.

Dr. Chris Thorpe, Senior Tutor in Intelligent Mobility at the RCA, added: “How do you make tomorrow’s personal journey an emotional experience, as evolving culture, disruptive technology and personal desires change tomorrow’s car? Our students tackled that question when Bentley asked them to look at automotive luxury over the next 30 years.”

The Top Four Chosen Responses

Bentley and the RCA Team Up to Sketch the Future of Elegant Motoring
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The project basically asked the students to consider the impacts of new technologies and craftsmanship on the evolving automobile market.

The four selected student responses are:

Luxury Soundscapes by Irene Chiu, which considered the role of sound in future luxury mobility. Irene suggested that the vehicle can selectively filter undesirable and stressful noises; at the same time allowing pleasurable bioacoustics to remain that can positively affect the passengers’ health, wellbeing and travel experiences.

Next is Material Humanity by Kate NamGoong. She suggested that in 2050, true luxury will be to occasionally drive in an internal combustion vehicle, when the rest of the world is fully autonomous and electric. With traditional engines becoming such a rarity, will want to see the mechanical workings, just like they do with luxurious mechanical watches today.

Then there’s Stratospheric Grand Touring by Jack Watson. He took inspiration from Bentley’s century-old history of groundbreaking innovation for his design study. His vision of future luxury imagines a scenario where international business travel will no longer restrict where people are able live, as sustainable, luxury stratospheric GT will be a reality in 2050.

Finally, there’s Elegant Autonomy by Enuji Choi. What’s better than providing a British car with the Brit etiquettes and elegance? Choi stresses on a future with driverless vehicles built for smart cities. The project focuses on the etiquette of ingress and egress, and how it has evolved over time, and the way it will continue to evolve when autonomous cars take over.

Conclusion

Bentley and the RCA Team Up to Sketch the Future of Elegant Motoring
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Bentley and the lecturers at RCA provided the best tutelage and guidance to the students to come up with the best ideas.

Although these were the chosen four, the other twenty articles have something innovative as well. If you wish to read them, you can find it on RCA’s official website.

If you were asked the same question, what would your answer be? Let us know your responses in the comments section below.

Further Reading

2019 Bentley Continental GT Speed Exterior Spyshots
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Read our speculative review on the 2019 Bentley Continental GT Speed.

2018 Bentley Bentayga Speed High Resolution Exterior
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Read our speculative review on the 2018 Bentley Bentayga Speed.

Note: all images courtesy of Bentley.

Bentley has collaborated with design students from the Royal College of Art’s (RCA) Intelligent Mobility programme to envisage the future of British luxury*.

The students were challenged to imagine how – in an increasingly virtual and digital world – elements of physical materiality, technology and craftsmanship can be curated to create a truly luxurious Grand Touring experience.

Bentley’s Design Director Stefan Sielaff, an alumnus of the RCA’s renowned Automotive Design programme, explained: “Bentley has always been at the forefront of automotive luxury, and with this collaboration we asked millennial students for their vision of the future.

“We wanted ideas and concepts that could potentially lead us in new and interesting directions, using the perspective of these digital natives – from all over the world – to see things differently. These second-year students are the ones who will be designing the cars of the future – the taste makers in training, if you will. That’s why the results of the challenge are so exciting.”

Dr. Chris Thorpe, Senior Tutor in Intelligent Mobility at the RCA, added: “How do you make tomorrow’s personal journey an emotional experience, as evolving culture, disruptive technology and personal desires change tomorrow’s car? Our students tackled that question when Bentley asked them to look at automotive luxury over the next 30 years.”

Soundscapes, luxury stratospheric transportation and sophisticated driverless elegance all feature in the diverse design visions, which were created in response to the question: ‘What will British luxury mean in 2050?’

From the 24 student responses submitted, four were identified as being particularly thought provoking by RCA lecturers and the Bentley design team, who also offered guidance and tutelage throughout the curriculum project.

These academic outcomes considered the impacts of new technologies and craftsmanship on personal transport, and interrogated what luxury might mean in an autonomous and increasingly sustainable world.

From Soundscapes to the Stratosphere – The Student Responses

‘Luxury Soundscapes’ by Irene Chiu’s considered the role of sound in future luxury mobility, with a vehicle that can selectively filter undesirable and stressful noises while at the same time allowing pleasurable bioacoustics to remain. She suggests that soundscape will be a transformative approach to in-cabin acoustics in autonomous vehicles, demonstrating how it could be influential in passengers’ health, wellbeing and travel experiences.

‘Material Humanity’ by Kate NamGoong identified the unexpected and the emotional as qualities that will continue to be appreciated by luxury car customers in 2050. Moreover, she suggests true luxury in the future will be the choice to occasionally drive yourself in an internal combustion vehicle, when the rest of the world is fully autonomous and electric. With traditional engines becoming such a rarity, Kate imagines that people will want to see the mechanical workings – just as they do with luxurious mechanical watches today.

‘Stratospheric Grand Touring’ by Jack Watson took inspiration from Bentley’s near-100-year history of groundbreaking innovation for his design study. His vision of future luxury imagines a scenario where international business travel will no longer restrict where people are able live, as sustainable, luxury stratospheric Grand Touring will be a reality.

‘Elegant Autonomy’ by Enuji Choi looked at the importance of elegance and British etiquette in a future with driverless vehicles built for smart cities. The project focuses on the etiquette of ingress and egress, and how it has evolved over time – from horse-drawn carriages to modern-day cars – and the way it will continue to evolve in an autonomous world.

View all of the student submissions at www.rca.ac.uk/news-and-events/news/intelligent-mobility-students-envisage-future-luxury-collaboration-bentley

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