Designing the right look and feel for a 10.1″ Brainiac display consists of a process of multiple revisions to try and get things “just right”. It’s one of those tough scenarios that you don’t actually quite know what “right” is until you see it, but when you do, you get a gut feeling that you’re on to something.
At Workshop 12 we like to open up our design process so that owners get a chance to provide their feedback early on. One way that we do that is by engaging in conversations on forums such as FT86 Club for Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ owners. By providing behind the scenes information on our blog it gives us a reference point for great discussions in a community forum setting.
After scanning the FR-S dashboard we were ready to move onto the concept sketching phase which gives us a chance to evolve different revisions and try to narrow in on a design language that fits both the vehicle and Brainiac. We want to make sure that Brainiac doesn’t appear to be “added on” but instead appear as if it should have been an actual vehicle option. This can sometimes be quite difficult when working with existing dashboards because you have pre-existing design and spacing limitations to deal with when trying to make something look OEM.
Here are some of the initial sketch revisions that have been pulled together for the FR-S/BRZ dashboard. You can see how we continue to try adjusting shapes, sizing and angles to narrow in on something that’s visually pleasing.
As we revise the design we also try different button configurations to see how things might fit. At this stage we still don’t know 100% on what size of buttons will fit, their angle or other specific details. This is because even though the sketches are to scale we need to mix together the sketched concepts with the physical world of available space, draft angles for plastic injection molds and OEM clips and connectors. But the sketches give us a direction for 3D modeling that then take into account all of those physical aspects.
With the FR-S/BRZ we also need to find a spot to relocate a hazard switch. We realize that we’re going to run into this situation on multiple vehicles so we’ve been hunting for a good looking hazard switch that will look nice in most vehicles and also resonate our Brainiac design language. Our top candidate so far can be seen below:
Our next revision on the FR-S/BRZ sketches will take REV 1.5 and expand further based on our design discussions. We want to bring some more of our signature Brainiac “V” shaping that was seen in the WRX 10.1″ design. This gives a nice integrated look for the display vs a rectangular opening. Another design aspect that we’re looking at are some raised ridges along the top left and right vertical edges where the trim meets the top of the dashboard.
We want a separation line between the trim coming from the passenger side of the dashboard and the new Brainiac trim, somewhat mimicking the raised sides along the climate control. This should create more of a vertical pillar look to the dashboard vs the current horizontal top bar appearance.
The final touch will be a new hazard switch location and physical button bar. So there are more revisions on their way, which makes this a great time for you to add your input 🙂