To speed up the early part of the car development process, from drawing board to design frieze, a 5.5 metre wide projector screen known as a power wall, has been installed into a specially designed room at Nissan’s design centre in Paddington, London.
The power wall enables decision makers to sit together in one room and view full size 3D images of their new designs, even tweaking the odd colour or tone. The advantage? Actions can be confidently taken without the need for expensive clay modelling, saving both time and money. Bruce Fenn, Manager Digital Design Group at NDE, describes this as ‘an MTV Generation Based Decision Making Process’.
The room provides a calm but positive environment helping to reduce the so called, but never proven, harmful electro-magnetic fields (EMFs) that would normally be given off in such a technically biased room. Even the drinks cabinet has to be silent. Wooden floors, dark grey steel walls, sound insulation holes, a complex lighting system and cool coloured furniture all contribute to the overall effect.
Obviously to power this complex twin projector computer system there is a full suite of technically advanced equipment. A degree in graphic design software would definitely be useful in getting the full benefit out of it. However, basic adjustments such as next slide, light dimming and image rotation can easily be changed by using a simple hand held device.
For the more demanding of presentations five, yes, five plasma screens can be hung from the side walls. Reduces the need for large sheets of paper and huge lumps of Blu-Tack everywhere.
As part of a global power wall concept, similar communication environments have been created for the Nissan San Diego Studio in California, Atsuki in Japan, and Farmington Hills, Michigan. The objective is to bring designer and decision makers together more often, accelerating projects through better communication.
Of course, it is not all work and no play, plug in PlayStation 2, grab hold of the controllers and hours can be easily lost – imagine playing Gran Turismo with life sized cars; bring it on!!Published 2 August 2004