Pilots Design team
Electric driving is a hot topic these days. A lot of car companies are introducing one electric car after the other and more and more public charging points are popping up in the landscape.
These development mean that Energy-providers have to play their part as well. That was one of the reasons for Liander (a Dutch energyprovider) to join hands with; Syntens (Dutch innovation platform), the City of Arnhem, O.P.A (design platform Arnhem) and Made in Arnhem. Together they initiated a national designcompetition asking for innovative, iconic designs making their charging points unique and recognizable.
Pilots Product Design entered the competition with the New Urban Icon-concept. Urban icons are not generally seen as beautiful or ugly, they are seen as icons because they got their charcateristics through context and therefore work well in their environment.
We were looking for a holistic approach and we came up with a concept that integrates three levels;
1. The EV charging point is part of an urban system with green streetnames and graphics on the EV parking lots. This will great overall recognition and city promotion (the more ‘green’ street, more environmental consciousness)
2. The interface is easy to use, without any unnecessary lcd-displays, and works with products we already know (like the iPhone, tomtom or googlemaps). The LED-light ring around the plug entry-point gives logical feedback on the status of charging and availability.
3. The Urban Icon is designed as a ‘plug&play’ product and is build out of sustainable materials. By placing two sockets in the top, rather than one, the charge spot can serve two EV cars (which means less physical objects in the street) All this adds to the overall experience.
With the actual design language we aimed at making it as clean and solid looking as possible with hints of other infrastructural products (like hydrants or gas pumps). The two plug-in points are deliberately placed slightly upwards to give the product a bit of a smile (in front view).
The final design is a strong looking but detailed product that would fit in any environment (city, village or office park) and can withhold the test of time.
The Jury agreed and selected us among the 4 finalists.
Congratulations to Floris Schoonderbeek, Dirk Claessens en Maarten Verweij for winning with their concept ‘Loloo’.
The finalists and jury-report can be seen on the syntens website
Year released: 2009