Designing the drones of the future: Designworks develop concept study for Yuneec
Designworks, one of the world’s leading design consultancies and a subsidiary of the BMW Group, has recently presented its holistic design concept for the next generation of drones, in cooperation with Yuneec, one of the leading companies in civilian drone development and manufacturing. Designworks is a creative think-tank that works for the BMW Group in the areas of mobility and digital living; it is also a hotbed of innovation for a variety of other industries and sectors. The future-facing design for Yuneec is the first concept developed for a drone manufacturer.
The path to the ‘Social Flyer’: User-centric design
The design study is not merely a product blueprint for a new Yuneec model – it is a visionary development for a forward-looking design that focuses on the user. The concept created by the Shanghai-based design studio upgrades and redefines the profile of the future user, and features both an eye-catching visual appearance and a user-friendly app.
Drones represent more than just technology. They are also deeply emotional products. People are passionate about flying drones; at the same time, there is a pronounced need to let others participate and exchange information. Aspects such as social sharing and a strong sense of community have to be considered during the design process. In this sense, the experts at Designworks define their drone user as a ‘social flyer’.
‘While the drone experience is in part defined by technology, it’s also a social experience, the excitement of a simplistic sensation to fly and opportunity of enhanced shared ability,’ says Claire Yun, associate director of strategy and research at Designworks Shanghai.
Forward-looking, open structures and an innovative folding system
For the exterior design – which also incorporates Yuneec’s many years of aviation experience – the designers developed a powerful, dynamic, futuristic look featuring clean, aerodynamic lines and a 3D effect, as well as a light, open structure and reflective surfaces. The distinctive design of the fuselage and the four rotor areas – decorated with metal alloys – are particularly striking. The design emphasises forward motion, agility and speed – not unlike a dynamic motorcycle. Flexible, user-friendly applications, modularity and safe transportation make the specially designed folding system possible. The colour combination builds on shades of black and white, with bronze accents, and reinforces the product’s dynamic, high-quality look.
‘It’s very exciting for us to see how design specialists with experience in other industries develop a future-forward drone concept that is ground-breaking yet consistently user-oriented. At the same time, this collaborative effort reflects the openness of the innovative spirit that drives both of our companies to shape the future through good industrial design and trailblazing technology’, says Jörg Schamuhn, CEO Yuneec Europe.