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Atlantic, long term design mission


The Groupe Atlantic entrusted MBD Design for a long term design mission. This partnership is in continuity with the one that started in 2011, initially with Plan Créatif.
This durable cooperation’s purpose is the creation of a global design identity for each of the group’s brand and for all the products ranges: Electric heaters and water heaters, boilers and heat pumps, air conditioners and ventilation.

The products cover the demand for homes, service industries and collectivities, both for the French and international markets.

In close partnership with Emmanuel Terrien, design manager of the group, the first studies were related to the different versions of individual boilers and electric heaters but also to the electric towel driers and the control and delocalized commands devices of the group.

The first products were unveiled during the Interclima exhibition in November 2013.

Transpole, Lille Tramway Refurbishment

Lille Tramway

Lille tramways started their commercial service in 1994. At that time, they were the first low floor rolling stock vehicles with a metric gauge in service. Manufactured by Ansaldo, the 30 meters long 24 trains were perceived as visually outdated in comparison with the new refurbished town as well as with some other vehicles recently launched.

Therefore the operator Transpole – Groupe Keolis decided to contact MBD Design to work on the vehicles’ refurbishment. Beyond the trams modernization, the study also took into consideration the users’ new expectations.

The exterior design presents a livery inspired by the current bus network graphics. The choice of the « liana », flowing and soft, makes a lot to modernize the base’s geometrical volumes, integrating the front end in their enveloping curves.

The interior’s deep renovation integrated a functional evolution and a real comfort improvement. Spaces around the gangways were widened and reorganized following the operator’s feedback and considering the users’ new behaviors. The interiors have been modernized with the choice of new colored and bright seats. The handling bars and grab poles have been partly renovated to generate a fresh and spacious visual impact. The new trams are also equipped with some last generation screens.

More luminous and more silent, the vehicles are also more spacious, offering a 15% capacity increase. Some PMR dedicated spaces have also been added.

The first tram set was presented to the public on August 27th.

The additional 23 trams will progressively entered service at a speed of one tram every two months until end of 2015.

ALSTOM, Paris T7 & T8 Tramways

Alstom - Paris T7 Tramway

The Parisian T7 and T8 trams’ route will follow the former N7 state highway from Villejuif to Athis-Mons in the South, and from Epinay to Villetaneuse (Tram Y) in the North.

To work on the new vehicles’ design, Alstom contacted MBD Design.
The mission, conducted in close cooperation with Alstom’s Design & Styling department, included the exterior design as well as all the interior fittings images.

The creativity and the interaction leaded to the definition of a modern urban vessel. While keeping the overall volume in accordance with the usual practice, the quality level is stretched to the top due to the subtle attention paid to many details.

On the outside, the screen glass volume recesses allow an opening and generate a welcoming and dynamic character. Elegance is added by the technical constraints’ careful integration as well as the lights’ details refined treatment. The access and maintenance constraints have been integrated from the origin in order to ensure the adequacy of the design with the daily operation obligations.

The outside shapes allow a natural mix between the STIF’s silver grey color and liana together with the RATP’s green.

The end object carries proudly the Alstom Citadis high technical nature’s image . It fits naturally in the capital city urban environment due to its sober and elegant design.

A real French know-how’s shop window !

The first cars are expected to come into service in November 2013.

Thalès, RapidFire

Thales - Rapid Fire

In order to promote a new 40 mm anti-aircraft automatic gun system, Thales contacted MBD Design to carry out a design study and produce a demonstrator.

The creative research included the interior lay-out as well as the exterior design, except for the existing driving cab.

The exterior aspect had to reflect an overall coherent visual identity between all the different volumes while, being a military vehicle, the RAPIDFire should also express its modern and furtive usage.

The details’ quality was studied in order to induce an unconscious perception of confidence, reliability and quality for both the buyers and the users.

The interior cabin arrangement had to be prepared to accommodate a cabin head, a driver and a gunner. Its lay-out is therefore planned to allow these people to communicate together while having an optimal access to the equipment. The ergonomics aspects are therefore crucial whether it is for reaching the controls, for visualizing the screens or keeping up with the visibility requirements. All having to be studied within a constraint volume.

MBD Design suggested an arrangement « in stairs » for an optimal human communication. The other new concept was to build some original and innovative individual sliding « cockpits » comprising the seat, the screen, the keyboard as well as the controls instruments in each seat station.

The RAPIDFire prototype was introduced during Eurosatory 2012 exhibition and won the Thales Innovation Awards silver medal that reward the group most innovative projects since over 11 years.

CSR PUZHEN, Hangzhou & Suzhou Metros

CSR Nanjing - Suzhou Tramway

MBD Design was contacted by the Chinese manufacturer CSR Puzhen to create the industrial design concepts for Hangzhou and Suzhou Line 1 tenders.

As CSR Puzhen has been chosen by both municipalities, the agency was entrusted with the vehicles exterior and interior design developments.

The work included the personalization of the front end shapes as well as the interiors lay-outs.

For Hangzhou Line 1, the chosen smiling front end gives a cheerfulness and gentleness feeling while being combined with dynamic and flowing lines expressing speed.
The openings treatment with a black strip emphasize the idea of a smooth and fast object seen when the cars pass by the platform or outdoors.
The interior is sober while providing a space and volume sensation.
The focus is put on the bright color on each end of the seats in order to create a contrast with the overall environment.

For the town of Suzhou, a welcoming front end, with soft lines was retained. As of the undulating livery, it reminds of the quietness and serenity of the « Venise of the East ».
The interior is simple and practical. It gives a feeling of space, cleanliness and efficiency while the choice of the green color finds its inspiration in the famous Suzhou gardens.

The vehicles are currently in operation and MBD Design is already working on the Line 2 vehicles industrial design.

ADP, Inspection & Filtering Posts

MBD DESIGN won the tender launched by Paris Airports (Aéroports de Paris) for the design and the manufacturing of a new inspection and filtering line’s functional prototype.

In competition with other agencies, MBD Design was chosen for its creative qualities in a constrained environment as well as for its long experience in the implementation of functional prototypes.

The purpose of the study included the visual improvement of the checking line – conceived until now with a security only objective – as well as the speeding of the inspection procedures and the reduction of the passengers’ lack of comfort in this filtering area.

All the Inspection and Filtering post components have been dressed again:

1. X-Rays, walk through portals and roller tables
2. Searching table
3. Comfort objects such as benches, controllers’ desks, dressing tables, X-Ray operator’s desk

All the creative and ergonomics work had to comply with the necessary security and maintenance requirements needed in a working airport environment.

MBD Design emphasized the visual cohesion between the different line components, even taking into consideration the floor around it.

The light, previously missing, plays an important role both for the atmosphere as well as for the persons and luggage guidance.

Warm materials and colorings were chosen to remind of the home atmosphere. This feeling is reinforced with the use of curbs as well as with the comfort of the exit space.

The new dressing concepts allow to guide, to fluidify, to clarify the procedure and therefore to speed it up.

The prototype was installed in December 2011 in Paris Charles de Gaulle airport Hall 1. This terminal is used in particular by the Airbus A380 passengers.
It should now be considered for mass-production.

Napier, Art Deco buses

GHD - Napier Bus

The town of Napier in New Zealand contacted MBD Design to create some touristic buses with a stylish Art Deco flavor.

Napier is a popular tourist city, with a unique concentration of 1930s Art Deco architecture, consequence of the town being rebuilt after the 1931 earthquake. During the summer, it welcomes more than 50 cruise ships in its harbor.

The Agency considered the town architecture and its numerous stylistics details to give a unique identity to the vehicle, both exterior and interior.

The touristic function had to be privileged. MBD Design proposed some large picture windows as well as the creation of a rear opened deck in order to maximize the possible contact with the town (following the example of the former Parisian buses).

All the exterior image was developed around the Art Deco visual theme identified and transcribed into the design: tight lines, regular curbs, use of polished natural metal in strips expressing delicacy and dynamism.

Inside, the space is optimized with large tinted windows allowing an unrestricted outlook. The bench seats are modern and comfortable while keeping a lightness impression. Here again, the Art Deco themes are declined in the shapes and shades.

The light color ceiling is sprinkled with spots in order to create an atmosphere encouraging relaxation, without causing any reflection interference impacting the city’s night vision.

People with reduced mobility were not forgotten as a dedicated space has been allocated to them. A totally integrated elevator system help them to get on board.

The technical challenge remains in the fact that these buses are being built using the chassis and framework of existing American « Thomas” school buses by a specialist restoration company in San Diego, California. They are available at a very low cost, making the whole transformation economically competitive.

The first buses are set to roll-out in Napier next March.