Intelligent Mobility (MA)
Vidyut Naidu is an established multi- disciplinary designer who comes with a broad knowledge base, having garnered design experience in a variety of fields before joining the RCA.Growing up in an environment where his major influences were creative in the form of his mother and grandmother, Vidyut naturally developed an affinity to all forms of creative practice. During his childhood, like most little boys, he had a particular fascination for all types of vehicles, which led to him drawing cars on any piece of paper he could find, even his schoolbooks.
He began his journey as a designer while he was still in school, through a summer internship. That internship yielded a range of designs that made it to market and further pushed Vidyut into expanding his horizons through bike, industrial, strategy and vehicle design.
Continually driven by a quest for knowledge and an urge to implement, Vidyut has utilised his experience in Industrial design and melded it with his passion for Automotive design to create meaningful and relevant pieces of work that address topics of growing importance.
My thesis project at the Royal College of Art is called ‘DVAITA’.Dvaita is an age old concept that comes from traditional Indian philosophy, it’s counterpart in thewestern world is Duality. However ‘Dvaita’ looks at achieving tranquility by looking at the synergy between the mind and the body I.e. Physical and Spiritual. The project has allowed me to use my background in Industrial Design and my current expertise in Transportation Design to develop a unique vehicle for a unique experience.
The application of such of a philosophy led me to researching adventure activities or thrill seeking activities that usually link the mind and the body through various biological processes. I further delved into researching the activities available on travel/leisure holidays that people with disabilities could access and zeroed in on the ones that had some format of mobility involved.
What I discovered was that the vehicles used were not designed to include a wide range of people or disability, the vehicles had parts retro fitted in order to be included in these activities and most importantly the weren’t empowering enough for people to actually experience the link between physical and spiritual.
After looking through a range of disability, I focused on Paraplegia as the focal point because it was perfect representation of people who have the will or the mindset but may not necessarily have the physical capability to follow it through. Furthermore this allows me to create a distinction point in the mobility/transportation sector about the importance of ‘inclusivity’ or ‘inclusive design’. A philosophy where you design for a specific focal group instead of designing for the norm.
User. — My main goal with this project was to highlight the importance of inclusive design in mobility and to start a discussion on developing and designing more option for a demographic group that gets overlooked due to their disability.
Brief. — Studies have shown that mentally empowering individuals allows the physical body to flourish and in that way mobility has relevance in both mental and physical health.
Competitor Analysis. — After looking at the limited mobility scooter options available on the market, I came to the conclusion that their visual aesthetic was too close to being ‘ medical’ , ‘uninspiring’ and not ‘thrilling enough’ in cases of the adventure versions.
Ideation 1. — Rapid generation of ideas through sketch development and furthered on CAD as experimental mock- ups.
Form Development. — The development of the form was defined by the development of a core structure within which the feel of the vehicle could be pushed. Any time it came close to resembling an existing vehicle, I chose to move it away till I had something that was 'unique'.
Final Form. — The name of the vehicle is ‘ SILVERBACK’ after the gorillas in the African wild. The reason I chose the name is because the stance of the vehicle and the philosophy of the aesthetic comes from these imposing yet majestic mammals.
Posture Study. — The relevance of being able to understand the dynamism and the limit of the human body after looking through various pieces of footage and speaking to a paralympic athlete informed the design of the frame, as well as determined the limitations of posture.
Silverback. — The vehicle isn't designed to look safe, nor timid. The full intention and purpose of the aesthetic was to push away from this standard of design language imbued by vehicles intended for the user group. Ultimately, this is not going to be used by the targeted group. It is inclusive in nature and had to therefore have an aesthetic commonality.
‘Dvaita’ looks at achieving tranquility by looking at the synergy between the mind and the body I.e. Physical and Spiritual. The thesis project uses this philosophy and applies it to overlooked user groups. In this cas people who suffer from disabilities. Namely, "Paraplegia".
Disabilities account for roughly 38 percent of the world and have become an increasingly overlooked demographic group through lack of option and desirability in mobility. The paralympics define the extraordinary abilities a 'disabled' person possesses, and this project focuses on harnessing on those amazing wills and desires that they possess.
The outcome of this project is based on building vehicles that offer the users the experience of adventure in commercially mass produced vehicles. The reason "Adventure" and "Thrill - Seeking" were key components of this project is evidenced by the number of users who have undertaken self - initiatives to build their own personal adventure avenues. Yet, the vast majority are unable to do so, and for them these inclusive design initiatives become invaluable.