This Sensory Garden concept by an intern at Zeekr Redefines the Luxury in Automotive Design

Apr 09, 2024

Zeekr's intern has come up with a project called "Sensory Garden" that changes the game for luxury cars. He is not just focusing on how things look or feel anymore—it's all about engaging all your senses. Picture this: a whole new world where your ride isn't just about getting from A to B. It's about taking you on a journey that touches your emotions and senses in ways you've never experienced before. This project is about creating an unforgettable experience that blends mobility with architecture seamlessly.

 

Multisensory Experiences in the Post-Virtual Era 

Junru - an intern at Zeekr Design has envisioned a future where virtual reality plays a central role, reshaping our sense of beauty and luxury. In this era of virtual reality, luxury aesthetics will become more accessible, thanks to easily obtainable decorations. What will set Zeekr apart is the unique multisensory experience it offers through various physical elements, taking the luxury experience to new heights. To bring this vision to life, the designer has developed a concept for an ecosystem that seamlessly integrates mobility, architecture, and passenger experiences. The architecture includes an exclusive clubhouse provided by Zeekr, acting as a central hub catering to various social needs and offering a spacious, dynamic environment for a range of multisensory experiences.

While the mobility aspect may provide a somewhat limited sensory experience due to space constraints, it extends the multisensory journey into the user's social and personal life. The designer found inspiration in traditional Chinese philosophy, particularly the concept of the Five Phases, which link the five senses to five physical elements. In this philosophy, metal and wood represent two of these elements, while a waterfall symbolizes water. The fire element is depicted through ambient light, and plants embody the earth element. The core area serves as a pivotal link between mobility and architecture. Here, Earth and Water elements will be utilized to craft a distinctive sensory experience. Meanwhile, the vehicle and the interior of the architecture will incorporate the remaining three elements—metal, wood, and fire—to complete the multisensory journey.

Imagine stepping into this space and being greeted by the soothing sound of water flowing, the warmth of ambient light casting intriguing shadows, and the scent of earthy plants surrounding you. It's a holistic experience that engages all your senses, inviting you to immerse yourself fully in the moment. The architecture's design took shape through a collaborative effort with Zeekr's CMF designer, Yu Lin, who brought her architectural expertise to the table. Together, they crafted a design where the architecture is embraced by a cascading waterfall. This unique feature serves a dual purpose: as the mobility docks, water flows into the core area situated at the rear. This not only charges the vehicle but also nourishes the plants thriving within the core area, symbolizing a beautiful harmony between humanity, technology, and nature.

Think of mobility as a key that starts a process. When it's activated, a door opens up from the waterfall. This lets passengers get into the architecture from the front of the vehicle. The core area, shaped like a volcano, is inspired by how water gathers. This design also affects how the inside of the architecture is built.

Picture this: as you step out of the vehicle, you're greeted by the sound of water flowing gently. You feel connected to nature and the advanced technology woven into the design. It's an experience that blurs the line between what's natural and what's made by humans, making you think about how everything is connected.

Exterior Design embodies Sleek, Pure, and Dynamic features

The final exterior design reflects Zeekr's design philosophy. Every line and curve leads your eyes naturally towards the Core area, which is like the heart of the design. To achieve this, Junru used Houdini to create special patterns for the lights at the front and back of the vehicle, as well as for the Zeekr logo down below. These patterns were all made using the same method, so they fit together seamlessly and keep the design consistent. Inside, everything is high-tech and futuristic. Instead of regular controls, you'll find holographic interfaces floating around, making you feel like you're in a sci-fi movie. The wooden panels have intricate patterns created by Junru's clever algorithms, softly lit by warm ambient lighting. And the mix of materials like fabric, leather, and metal creates a comfortable yet modern vibe.

But the real magic happens in the Core area. Here, the outside world merges with the interior space, blending the soothing sensations of water and plants right into the design. It's a sensory experience unlike any other, where nature and technology come together in perfect harmony.

Cinematic Renderings: Future Cityscapes and internship at Zeekr

In the final presentation, Junru unveiled some stunning images that painted a picture of a futuristic cityscape. It looked almost like a concrete jungle, with people completely engrossed in virtual reality thanks to cutting-edge technology. But amidst all this, there stood the Zeekr clubhouse, like a hidden gem—an oasis of its own, offering a lifestyle unlike any other.

Imagine this: sleek vehicles soaring through the city, seamlessly extending the experience from the clubhouse to the bustling streets. And surrounding the architecture, there's a majestic waterfall, almost like a protective barrier. It's a symbol of the stark difference between the busy, artificial world outside and the tranquil, green haven within the clubhouse. It's a striking contrast that makes you appreciate the beauty of both nature and technology, all within the same futuristic setting. 

As a fresh luxury electric vehicle brand from China under Geely's ownership, Zeekr offers interns an exciting and diverse working environment that encourages exploration across various design disciplines. The company values creativity and friendship, organizing team-building activities to nurture these qualities among interns. During Junru's internship, he had the wonderful opportunity to travel to beautiful islands and explore the vibrant city of Gothenburg, all thanks to Zeekr's arrangements.

Aside from the exciting outings, Junru also received invaluable guidance and insights from his mentor and colleagues, which played a significant role in improving his skills and professional growth. The Nordic design principles, which emphasize simplicity, functionality, and a deep connection to nature, left a lasting impression on Junru during his internship. This influence enriched his overall experience, adding depth and breadth to his learning journey.

Conclusion

Designed with discerning automotive enthusiasts and forward-thinking consumers in mind, the "Sensory Garden Concept" caters to individuals who crave more than just transportation from their vehicles. It targets those who appreciate the fusion of artistry and engineering, seeking vehicles that engage their senses and evoke emotions on a profound level. Whether it's the soothing ambience of a curated interior, the exhilarating soundscapes of a high-performance engine, or the seamless integration of intuitive controls, this concept aims to captivate and inspire a new generation of automotive enthusiasts, redefining the very essence of luxury on the road.

About Designer

Junru Huang holds a Master's Degree in automotive design from the College for Creative Studies. He participated in a joint cultivation program between Coventry University and NJUST to obtain a Bachelor's degree in automotive design. Before joining Zeekr, he completed internships in interior design at Nissan Design China and GAC. Additionally, he contributed to concept vehicle design for the Chinese sci-fi film "Wandering Earth II." Currently, he is actively pursuing job opportunities globally.

Visit his profile

Junru Huang