Cargami / Reimagining seating for autonomous vehicles
Accommodating the squeeze
With elderly parents, grown children, and grandkids, Baby Boomers wonder how to accommodate everyone in the car.
Design an innovative solution to suit the needs of 60-75 year olds as related to the impact of Autonomous Vehicles in the year 2025.
We performed market research, conducted user interviews, reviewed current and predicted trends, created physical and digital prototypes, and harnessed data to support a design fiction for the year 2025.
Our team talked with many Baby Boomers in the 60-75-year-old range, and a lot of them expressed the desire to find a way to better support their own comfort while still providing support to their elderly relatives, adult children, and grandchildren. We wanted to help these Baby Boomers better accommodate “the squeeze” they felt, particularly in the lens of transportation.
Many of the Boomers we spoke to were frustrated that they had to borrow their children’s cars because it was too frustrating to put in car seats for their grandchildren, and many noted how difficult it was for their aging parents to get in and out of their cars.
Almost all of the Baby Boomers we spoke to led active lives and needed the flexibility to change and adjust the seats in their cars for various personal needs.
Looking through the lens of 10 or more years down the road, in a future with autonomous vehicles, we imagined a scenario where we designing the interior environment for an autonomous vehicle designed by Toyota — since Toyota is currently the most popular car brand with this age group. Researching industry trends and futurecasting, we saw that many companies are abandoning the front-facing rows, instead designing seating spaces that face inward, almost as if sitting at a table.
We saw that many designs were rounded and smooth, and that none of the designs seemed to address specific seating needs like lumbar support and adjustments for children. We decided to explore a conceptual material that could bend, shape and even inflate — in order to support the ergonomic comfort of aging adults and the comfort and safety of small children.
How might we best help Baby Boomers accommodate their needs as active individuals and multi-generational caretakers?
Our imagined car seating environment was codenamed Cargami. A Cargami interior could bend and fold like origami, based on factors like height, weight, and ability.
Cargami is a seating environment made to fit everyone, but designed especially to give Baby Boomers the freedom of choice and change.