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How can a premium vehicle of a German car manufacturer look in the future by an attractive design with light and display integration in the bumper? In recent months, students at Hof University of Applied Sciences have been working on this question as part of a cooperative project with REHAU Automotive and lighting system specialist ZKW. The result: exciting design ideas for the companies and practical insights for the students.
When university and business work hand in hand, innovative ideas are generated and both partners benefit - this has been demonstrated for a good year now by the cooperation between the Design & Mobility course and REHAU Automotive. As part of a practical project, the prospective design specialists use their theoretical knowledge and gain insights into the working worlds of the attractive regional employer. The company benefits from design studies on product innovations. New on board this year was the Austrian lighting system specialist ZKW, with whom REHAU Automotive has been working on concepts and pre-development projects since May 2023 in order to be able to offer lighting, sensor technology and electronics in the front of the vehicle as a "seamless intelligent verhicle front".
How can a premium vehicle of a German automobile manufacturer look in the future with an attractive design with light and display integration in the bumper? This was the question the students addressed this semester and came up with creative ideas. They were not only accompanied by the companies. Professor Lutz Fügener, jury member for the Red Dot Award and well-known from articles and trade magazines such as Automobilwoche, was mentor and sparring partner and emphasizes: "The students did not only work theoretically within the framework of this project. They put their skills to the test directly on a real and forward-looking task." And the results were convincing. "The ideas are not technically dominated, they are creative and inspiring. At the same time, the students gain an awareness of what matters in the design process from an economic point of view," emphasizes Martin Wippermann, head of central pre-development at REHAU Automotive.
A field trip to a plant of the automotive supplier will soon mark the official conclusion of the project. The cooperation is to be continued with further projects in the coming semester.