DIY Interior Design

We finally got the chance to look at a Citroen Ami in the wild (well, the Rue Bonaparte in Paris) recently. We’ve been intrigued by the service concept behind this vehicle for a while now and even though opinion in the studio here in London is mixed when it comes to the exterior design, we love the pragmatic thinking that has resulted in features such as front and rear symmetrical body panels.

What struck us when we saw it parked up on a busy Parisian street though, was how the user of this particular Ami had personalized the otherwise quite basic interior. Plugging in your smart phone and bluetooth speaker to perform navigation and entertainment duties is an idea that many people will be familiar with. It’s a handy work around for anyone who owns an older car and it comes with the added benefit of not having to learn how to use the manufacturer’s HMI software when you already know your way intimately around IOS or Android.

It does start to beg the question however, of what exactly we need all of this built into our cars for at all? If we’re talking about Mobility as a Service and shared cars, then perhaps all we need is an app to link us to the vehicle of our choice and integrate with our preferred mapping service?

If we’re looking at the hardware of the interior, Fiat’s Centoventi concept showed some great, simple ideas for plug-in storage features, even suggesting users could 3D print their own pieces.

In these days when we all carry around supercomputers in our pockets, which are increasingly extensions of who we are and what music we like, why not let them do the heavy lifting when it comes to vehicle HMI? And if maintenance and cleanliness are going to be crucial for MaaS, why not create interiors that are simple, hard-wearing and easy to clean? Interiors that we can make our own, just as easily as we would add enamel pins or patches to a denim jacket. Maybe, the future of interior design is just a little bit punk? Unique, raw and held together with safety pins (or plastic fasteners, we’re flexible on this one).