PSA has launched its new Peugeot Design Lab to design products, services and experiences for clients outside the automotive industry.
Peugeot Design Lab, a global brand design studio, is located within the Peugeot Design Centre and utilizes the existing technical and human resources expertise in order to draw from the many years of design experience of the design team. It also comprises of designers from studios from across three continents in Paris, Shanghai and Sao Paolo.
Peugeot Design Lab was born under the impetus of the new Peugeot corporate identity in 2010. Cathal Loughnane – who has spent 12 years working on design for the PSA Group's brands (interior design and concept cars) – has been appointed the new lab manager. He reports directly to Gilles Vidal, Director of Style Peugeot.
The impetus to form a team dedicated to designing and creating products other than Peugeot vehicles was apparently fuelled by enquiries from outside companies.
"The challenge for automobile designers is ambitious," says Vidal. "To anticipate ever higher expectations for quality, safety, and content, while preparing to make a step forward in design with a style that is innovative, attractive, and different".
The design development phase is a familiar one, implemented by 3D designers and engineers, where modelling is integrated into the process, achieved by repetitions between digital modelling and physical development, using milling machines and 3D scanners.
Peugeot Design Lab already has several projects in its portfolio: a yacht, a powerboat, an aeroplane and a watch, while two of its creations are on sale in the form of the DL121 and DL122 bicycles.
The French automaker is not the first manufacturer to offer such a service. There are notable design studios from a number of brands that have been designing and producing products outside of the automotive world. BMW DesignWorksUSA is a prime example, and possibly the most renowned.
BMW DesignWorksUSA's team develops advanced design strategies and complete design development throughout the concept stage through to the end product. In essence, the company performs the same function as Peugeot Design Lab. Porsche Design has also produced clothing and accessories amongst other things, and a number of brands have produced bicycles. As car manufacturers look increasingly outside their boundaries this is a trend that is destined to grow.
Interview: Gilles Vidal – Director of Design, Peugeot