Lectra has partnered with The Myron E Ullman, Jr. School of Design at University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (UC DAAP), to devise new interdisciplinary course exploring emerging automotive interior design trends. For this, Ullman will implement Lectra’s DesignConcept, an innovative virtual prototyping and development solution.

Students of UC DAAP with majors ranging from transportation to fashion and furniture design will learn how to develop product ideas using digital product-development techniques, including 3D modeling and 2D pattern-making, said Lectra in a report. DesignConcept enables makers of seating, dashboards and steering wheel covers for vehicles, marine vessels and aircraft to accelerate product development with collaborative virtual prototyping.

The Ullman School of Design, located in Cincinnati, Ohio, was ranked as one of the top five undergraduate industrial design programmes in the US in 2016 by consulting and research firm DesignIntelligence. The school’s five-year co-op internships give students the opportunity to gain experience working for high-profile car manufacturers such as General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford Motor Company, Volkswagen, Toyota, Hyundai, Audi, Mercedes Benz and Tesla Motors, among others.

The new studio topic, “The Future of Autonomous Vehicle Interiors: Materials and New Configurations,” represents the first time that hands-on training using DesignConcept will be provided to a multidisciplinary group of UC DAAP students. The studio will be offered starting in September 2019 and is open to students preparing for design careers in transportation, fashion, furniture design and other industries.

“This is a perfect example of our commitment to industry-focused education,” said Dr Gjoko Muratovski, Director and endowed chair of the UC DAAP. “The Lectra donation will take our tech capabilities to new heights and enable our students to do things that they could never do before.”

“This renewed partnership offers students the perfect laboratory to see exciting emerging automotive interior trends come to life with our digitalised product development solution. Lectra is pleased to play its part in training tomorrow’s designers,” said Céline Choussy, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, Lectra.

Lectra’s longstanding partnership with the Ullman School of Design began in 2001. Committed to training the next generation of fashion students worldwide, Lectra provides more than 900 schools and universities with access to software and design expertise. Now that commitment has been extended to automotive interior design, which is undergoing a major transformation brought about by self-driving and connected cars, shared mobility and electric vehicles.