Melbourne Design Awards - City Design Awards

50th Anniversary Ford Falcon

Melbourne Design Awards 2010 - Winner

Project Overview

50th Anniversary, a special occasion. An opportunity to capture the essence of a staple, a success story of Australian Automotive Design & Manufacturing. Something we've grown up with; fond memories, pride, family holiday, soccer mum, the company car, racing heritage, but mostly it's about thanks for those who've supported & entrusted it into their lives.

Project Team

Commissioner

Ford Motor Company
Chris Svensson

Creators

Ford Motor Company
Chris Svensson

Emily Lai
Antonia Trinchi
Marisa Marazita

Project Brief

Create a premium seat for the flagship vehicle that captures the imagination, is befitting of a true collectors edition, but also will stand the test of time, both physical & visual. And then there's all those important safety, volume manufacturing & cost parameters to work within too. From a market perspective appeal to both traditional Ford customers & attract those yet to connect with the brand. As both family & high volume seller be desirable to both female & male customers.

Project Innovation / Need

A special occasion calls for something memorable. So this seat had to be a holistic synergy of style, safety, comfort, quality, technology & durability. But most importantly to make the owner feel special & to capture the spirit of the nameplate in a contemporary & lasting embodiment.

Firstly it had to be smart & convenient, letting you seamlessly get on with life. With G6E each driver finds their ideal seating position via the 8-way electric adjustment system & stores it as one of the preset memory keys for instant retrieval whenever needed.

Next it has to be safe. Side thorax airbags & extra neck support headrests in particular contribute to achieve the highest possible safety ANCAP 5 star vehicle crash rating. Falcon is the first Australian built car to achieve this.

Lastly, but just as important, it needs to emotionally connect. Marrying the core values of personal, unique, celebration & commemorative with the theme of luxury & sportiness in a sophisticated method that had cross gender & wide market appeal led to some new ways of doing things.

We have employed a new strategy of embossing & unique sew styles to alter the seats proportions, look & character. Side bolsters feature dynamic sew lines bordering emboss panels that change proportions while remaining harmonious to the overall form.

The dynamic lines with twin needle stitching in mildly contrasting coloured thread coupled with the embossing celebrates & embodies the cars racing heritage giving it a sporty persona. The small scale V-Shape emboss pattern creates a subtle & sophisticated tonal & gloss variation akin to personal leather goods (a fine crafted handbag, wallet or briefcase) for it's luxurious & sophisticated side.

High grade leather, unique detailing with subtlety & quality of execution makes for one of the most crafted seat ever to appear on an Australian vehicle.

Design Challenge

Take an existing seat full of highly developed & tested safety & ergonomic advancements & reinvigorate it. Make it seem new & unique & appealing to the increasing high buyer expectations in a flooded market place. Befitting of a collector's edition.

Automotive seating in this day & age is far more than just a place to sit yourself on a journey. All manner of safety devices are set in place, needless to say carefully develop ergonomics & standards on wear, grip & so on. All of which set limits & challenges for the shape, materials & surface treatments. Add to this the need to visually harmonise in what is also a highly abuse cabin environment (high UV exposure, dirt, rubbing from ingress/egress).

Sustainability

In this application all leather materials are locally sourced & processed by a chrome free system. Leather in itself is a natural material & for this model we've worked hard with suppliers to increase the yield per hide. Typically leather seats are highly durable as we employ some of the toughest standards in the world. To extend life & assist with end of life cycling, the seat is built as a cover over the cushioned metal structure. This facilitates reclaiming repair & replacement. All metal components are fully recyclable, synthetics are non solvent based & weight material usage is kept to a minimum to reduce consumption & assist with fuel economy.