Nissan – Imagining the future

Nissan, part of the Nissan Renault Group, are one of the most well known global auto brands with a sophisticated design organisation located in Japan, China, USA and the UK.

We have worked with Nissan Design Center (NDC) and their advanced design team in Atsugi-shi, Japan since 2003. The goal of this team is to explore future concepts and opportunities which will eventually influence and implement tomorrow’s products.

Why (Goal)

Nissan recognise the many challenges facing auto brands, including – eco-issues and the switch to alternative energy sources and the lack of desire for car ownership especially amongst urban dwellers and younger people. These issues often inform our project briefs including – What does a car sharing service look like ? or How does a car grow and evolve with your lifestyle ?

How (What we did)

These kinds of projects are often vague and open ended explorations, so firstly we create a project structure which will help us shape and define the problem before attempting to find a solution. To do this we utilise the following types of activities :

– Research Inside / Outside Nissan : utilising internal research as well as user, service, market and technology research

– Universal Themes : what are the big themes effecting the future for example ‘young people would rather chat with friends by FaceTime than commute by car to meet them’

– Opportunity framework creation : highlighting the opportunities for Nissan in the future context

– Rapid prototyping : visualisation of concepts, services and future lifestyles

What (Outcomes)

During this relationship we have successfully completed many exploration projects for NDC. The output is always to provide data, inspiration and insight for the advanced design team and is intended to influence Nissan in their planning and thinking about ‘what’s next’.


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