An installation at Design Miami 2016 from LEGO and Audi.
What is it?
The Extra Hour was a collaboration between Audi and LEGO's Creative Play Lab to create an installation for Design Miami 2016.
The design builds on Audi's 'automated driving' concept, the idea being that when you no longer have an hour or so to commute, you gain an 'extra hour' in the day. An hour to create, to relax, or to play.
The installation itself is reminiscient of a clock face, with an extra section carved out, filled with a gradient of LEGO pieces. At the end of the pieces, a 2-meter high "25" appear to indicate the extra hour of time in the day. While the colors and feel of the piece, from a distance, resemble Audi brancing, if you were to approach the sculture, you'd see a large number of small LEGO minifigures engaging in some kind playful 'extra' activity.
What I Did
Role: Design Lead
- Concept and Installation Design
- Design Process Creation
- Audi Collaborations
The team consisted of myself, a team of 2 additional designers, Carol Tang and Jaume Fabregat, an excellent project manager, Henrik Daae, and the design director of Creative Play Lab, William Thorogood.
We also collaborated closely with Audi's marketing team and a team in the US that created the large models.
REFLECTIONS & THOUGHTS
The biggest challenge was the timeline. We were confident in our abilities, but combine multiple design iterations, client work, and production coordination in addition to our normal workload meant things would be tight.
What went right?
The collaboration with AUDI and our workflow went very well. This was largely due to an amazing project manager, but also in how the design team was able to come together and have healthy criticisms that pushed the design forward. AUDI was a great partner in this, and really demonstrated how two companies, who may appear quite different, superficially, can work when their values and methods are aligned.
Also the installation ended up looking preeeetttyy cool.
What, well, didnt?
Having said that the collaboration with AUDI went well, it wasn't so smooth at the beginning. Only when we decided to physically show-up in person did things really work out. Two parters can work together, especially when remote, but they need physical interaction to achieve in hours what could take months otherwise. Overcoming these hurdles was largely due to amazing thinking done by the project manager, Henrik Daae.
More Project Details
We opened the installation successfully for Design Miami in late November, 2016.
- A lot of sketch pads
Early Ideas and Development Steps
The original ideas for the installation centered around two concepts: (1) the extra time that one gains when the car can drive itself to a destination and (2) the notion that roads and the city, as an environment and as a public space, change dramatically when one no longer has to drive through them. After sketching, mocking, and discussing these both internally and with Audi, we settled on the first. This idea coincided well with some internal messaging that Audi had been currently experimenting around this exact idea and their 'autonomous driving vehicle'.
From the concept lock, we then starting exploring different details of the concept. We experimented with tone and aesthetic through sketches, we prototyped with models and LEGO pieces, and we finalized through 3D models and renders. All of these, of course, were a back and forth with the Audi team, whether it be the marketing design for the visual style or the booth engineers for technical specs.
From there, we delivered specifications to a LEGO team in the US that specializes in large-scale builds. Brilliantly coordinated by Henrik Daae, Will and I flew to Miami to oversee the final installation.