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Hong Kong, Tramway Refurbishment

Hong Kong Tramway

Hong Kong Tramways Limited, which is owned by French multinational Veolia, contacted MBD Design in order to create a new renovated version of the town’s double-decker trams.

In the past, different internal projects were undertaken but could not be accepted by the passengers as they were not respecting the traditional and almost patrimonial vehicle style: plastic seat shells and “bus” style filling were not suitable for this Hong Kong iconic vehicle.

Therefore, MBD Design decided to focus on finding a subtle balance between the necessary overhaul and the need to keep the unique atmosphere of this fleet that carry an average of 250,000 passengers every day.

The blend of solid wood with an aluminium frame in a modern styling design came out onto an elegant and comfortable seat, establishing immediately the much sought-after strong identity.

The interior includes new generous fillings, clearly requiring the presence of aluminium. They integrate numerous and ergonomics handrails as well as energy-saving and more welcoming LED lighting.

As of the driver’s dashboard, it has been improved with CCTV and easier-to-read destination panel.

Passengers waiting at a tram stop immediately recognize the face that is a fully integrated part of the urban Hong Kong landscape. The tram’s triple-window windscreen and central headlight have been maintained, as well as the passenger entrance through a flap gate at the rear of the car.

The first refurbished trams were put in service in March 2011. The entire fleet of 161 trams will be refurbished at a rate of two per month by Hong Kong Tramways.

Bobcat, TLS – New Generation of Telescopic Handlers

Bobcat - TL470

Bobcat contacted MBD Design in order to study the design of a new range of telescopic loaders « Bobcat TL ».

The objectives of the study were of different kinds :

– to capitalize on Bobcat’s long tradition and technical advantages on developing compact telescopic loaders

– to introduce some improvements supported by technical developments (forward/reverse, electronic, etc.)

– to establish a specific image in an industry where Bobcat is a challenger.

The final product had to remain a vehicle inspiring strength, able to tackle all the demands of a busy day while offering the optimum reactivity and complete, confident control of an agile loader.

A well balanced and subtle mixture of rounded and more rectilinear shapes allow an overall perception of dynamism and performance of the whole chassis.

The ergonomics have as well been considered. Whether is it about the driver’s visibility or the ease of use and positioning of all the dashboard controls.

The innovative asymmetric cab design offers a spacious work environment with an optimal all-around view of the work site, including what’s going on overhead. This allow much smoother working processes with higher safety levels and improved productivity. It is as well a strong identity factor for the Bobcat vehicle.

The careful visual integration of the technical components generate the image of compact, strong and industrially successful product in all its details.

The new Bobcat TL range can tackle the most difficult tasks in full confidence.

Thalès, Radar and Information Station – Engagement and Control Station

Thales - ECS

Thales contacted MBD Design to add some design approach in its new generation study for its radar and information station as well as for its engagement and control station.

The objectives were of different nature.

Firstly, the agency had to define a THALES product identity expressing the qualities expected by the potential clients. It was integrated in the design with the objective to communicate the performances as well as the stations “perceived” quality. The themes retained by the agency were those of efficiency, power and robustness.

The limited interior space requested a dedicated lay-out work to rationalize the volume and offer overall ergonomics for the surroundings, the movement and the exchanges. The work space light and well spaced-out atmosphere creates an overall well- being and comfort feeling, especially during the long working hours or in case of active situations.

The work space as well as the individual stations benefitted from some deeper ergonomics studies in order to optimize the performances and the technical connections. While being compact, the space should allow consistent actions and relations management as well as their hierarchical organization for an efficiency in all circumstances.

The agency also worked on defining a global quality image in the product details treatment in order to give a feeling of industrial and overall reliability outcome.

At last, MBD Design completed the study using its know-how in visual identity for the creation and use of the SHIKRA SYSTEME logo.

Equipped with an advanced and expressive design, the stations could then express their advanced technology and suggest confidence and reliability to their future users.

They were released to the public during Eurosatory 2010 show.

Bombardier, Paris RER A Refurbishment

Bombardier - Paris RER A

Bombardier contacted MBD Design in order to propose a new interior lay-out as well as a new contemporary atmosphere for the 130 double-deck trains that are going to replace the current single-deck Paris RER A trains.

The agency took into consideration the ergonomics aspects when proposing wide doors (2 meters) and more generous areas near the access platforms. This space management increases the fluidity between the train and the platform and encourages a better spread of the travellers within the trains.

New porthole shaped innovative lights all along the platform create a sense of visual welcome when entering the train. These round shapes create a break as well as a strong identification compare to the usual fluorescent tube harshness.

Within the coaches, the new color harmony makes use of contemporary themes with the objective to propose a quiet and relaxing travelling atmosphere perceived as an extension of the home environment.

A floral and plant-like theme was retained for the seats graphics as well as for the side walls patterns. The colors are warm and welcoming. The alternation of the two colors gives life to the space and reduces the feeling of mass-transportation.

The lower and upper deck atmospheres are different. Passengers may opt for an alternative environment depending on their mood or their occupation when travelling.

MI09 is equipped with a sound and visual passenger information system as well as with 19’’ screens located in the coaches. The new train includes a refrigerated ventilation system for a better comfort.

People with reduced mobility can benefit from 34 dedicated seats and two wheelchairs’ areas per train.

These new trains will start to operate in 2011.

RATP, Paris RER B Refurbishment

RATP - MI 79

The RATP contacted MBD Design with the purpose of creating a new design for all the MI79 train sets that started to operate between 1980 and 1983. The values carried by the new design should be modernity, performance, welcoming, power and dynamism. They had to be expressed through a new interior lay-out as well as through a new livery.

The Agency’s work focused on the interior layout with all the seats’ replacement. More comfortable, the new seats are also more resistant to vandalism.

A particular importance was given to the interior ergonomics and movements by reducing the number of partitions and by adding ischiatics support to replace the folding seats, embarrassing during the peak hours.

On this line, that connect the two Paris airports, new and more accessible luggage areas now replace the previous luggage racks located under the ceiling.

People with limited mobility can now use dedicated spaces specifically designed for wheelchairs users access.

All the new coaches benefit from a more pleasant lighting atmosphere. The interior space is fully opened between the coaches, increasing the feeling of security.

The on-board information has not been forgotten as new dynamic information displays have been added above each door.

The first refurbished train started to circulate on December 6, 2010. By 2014, all 119 « MI79 » line B train sets will have been renovated.

CSR Puzhen, Mumbai Metro

CSR Nanjing - Mumbai Metro

CSR Nanjing Puzhen Rolling Stock Co., Ltd, a Chinese rolling stock manufacturer within China Southern Rolling stock group contacted MBD DESIGN to conduct a design study on Mumbai metro Line 1.

It is the first metro train to be built in China for the Indian market and the first Chinese export of this kind of high capacity coaches.

The livery is illustrated with shimmering patterns as those that can be found in India. The graphics around the doors remind of modern architecture while being functional: their rhythms and their locations reinforce the access doors identification.

The front end is welcoming and cheerful. The headlights are enhanced as groomed and smiling eyes.

As of the interior, the agency opted for a choice of attractive and refreshing colors.
The coaches atmosphere finds its identity in the presence of original components such as the circular grabbing bars located on the ceiling in front of the doors as well as on the use of an innovative rubber flooring material with decorative patterns. Both allow a clear definition of the standing and seating passenger areas. The seats ends are colored in blue, color of the operator.

The overall feeling gives an impression of modernity, cleanliness and cheerfulness.

The trains started to operate in Mumbai in spring 2010.

Bombardier Sifang Transportation – Fast Sleeper Trains

Bombardier Sifang Transportation, main actor on the Chinese rolling stock market and joint-venture between Bombardier and CSR Sifang Qingdao contacted MBD DESIGN for the concept design study of the fast sleeper trains ordered by the Chinese Ministry of Railways.

This is the first worldwide realization of high speed sleeper trains.

These trains include 4 and 6 sleepers compartments, traditional coaches with seats, a dining car and specific spaces.

The sleepers compartments design expresses the overall functionality while giving a feeling of comfort and finish. All passengers have an individual television and the agency proposed an innovative solution to reach the upper berth.

In the traditional coaches, the seats roundness and colors contrast with the straighter and more discreet windows and ceiling.

The dining car should induce user-friendliness and exchanges. It is a peaceful place that should remain dynamic. With that purpose, a proposal with geometrical and timeless shapes has been selected. The horizontal structures inspire quietness and rest.

The corner lounge with warm and light colors invite to relaxation.

Those new vehicles started to operate on the Beijing –Shanghai line at the end of 2009.