Located in Shanghai, the Lear User Experience Centre was envisioned as a multi-layered, multi-sensory 1,100 sq. m experiential showcase of the R&D, manufacturing and technological capabilities and products of Lear, a world-renowned automotive components supplier. Ultimately, the facility was to give visitors a greater understanding of the company’s strength and scope and help foster its development in Asia.
As completed, the Centre comprises five exhibition zones – Arena, Impression, E-Systems, Seating and Green EV Technology – covering Lear’s core businesses of car seats and electrical and electronic systems.
In each zone, the team integrated an array of interactive multimedia equipment and technology to build an informative, multi-sensory experiential journey. In the Seating zone, for example, a real industrial robot arm grabs various seat components whilst a large LED screen explains where each belongs and displays product selling points.
Centrepiece of the E-Systems zone is a full-size car understructure behind a sliding OLED screen displaying indivisual components of the car. As the screen moves back and forth, it displays mirror parts of the understructure. When visitors click on the screen its movement stops, and a specific component image is overlaid ‘X-ray style’ on the appropriate part of the understructure. Clicking the ‘X-ray’ again brings up detailed information on the component.
E-Systems also features a smart table onto which visitors place the component product of their choice. Instantly, the table displays product data and, should the visitor wish, begins a stimulating interactive mini-journey.
Highlights elsewhere include a virtual autonomous vehicle test drive, following a Pico-designed storyline that takes the experience from ‘home’ to ‘work’. Along the way are scenes of picking up coffee, making car-charging appointments and conducting online meeting, and other actions which realistically demonstrate Lear’s most advanced technologies. Outside, virtual scenery like roads, buildings and even details of the vehicle’s exterior were painstakingly created to be processed in real time as they flow past.
Besides contributing to interactive multimedia installations in each zone, the Pico team provided creative design solutions for the Centre’s interior. Subtle combinations of grey, white and black, sophisticated lighting schemes and creative surface materials were used to conjure up a theatrical, harmonious match between architecture and exhibits. Concrete and aluminium panelling was used throughout to imbue the Centre with a distinctly ‘North American industrial’ feel. The imported Haworth flooring echoes that seen in Lear showrooms in North America, adding a sense of brand consistency.
As well as giving the Centre a striking look, the aluminium-and-concrete wall panels effectively express Lear’s green credentials, being more environmentally friendly than wood and enabling the team to reduce material waste and dust. To further minimise the Centre’s environmental impact, all paint used inside is formaldehyde-free.