Oscar Johansson’s Volvo Haven is a project he started a few years ago while enrolled at Pforzheim University’s MA Transportation Design course. He recently completed it as part of his thesis project.
Created in collaboration with Volvo Cars, the Haven concept proposes new ways of experiencing a vehicle’s interior and exterior by combining and integrating the two aesthetically and functionally. The vehicle aims to improve mental wellbeing by consciously breaking from the ever-connected, hectic urban lifestyle that many people find themselves in and instead bringing them closer to the natural world.
The project takes into account the fast pace of urban life as well as digital fatigue, an issue that’s ever-more prevalent as people are increasingly reliant and consuming information in digital format. Johansson also questioned the cognitive load on individuals and the adoption of consumer products’ touchscreen technology in vehicles.
Instead of utilizing autonomous technology to enable occupants to be more productive or entertained, he sought a different solution – a vehicle that promotes being disconnected from technology and that reimagines a user’s connection with the natural environment.
Volvo Haven’s four-passenger interior is unpretentious, devoid of flat screens and allows users to bring the comforts of their own home into the vehicle. In the example renderings shown, Johansson has substituted typical, overpowering electronic elements for a warm natural environment and plush seating commonly found in living rooms.
The cabin’s highlight feature is the central tunnel, which allows plants and moss to grow within an aquarium type setting visible to the occupants within. The calm greenery mimics a natural forest environment, and as air passes through the car condensation forms within the clear exterior. This unique pass-through element gives a new twist of life within the car, allowing air, pollen, rainwater, snow, frost, and ice to form within it.
This very distinctive design element of the Volvo Haven provides a new user experience we’ve never seen before in a concept and makes for a wonderful thesis project. We wish Johansson all the best in his new role as an exterior designer at Volvo Cars.