Defining the next generation SUV interior

The Senova OffSpace is a concept study for a new premium type of crossover that combines the toughness and versatility of an off road car with the inside space of an MPV. It was presented at the Beijing Motorshow 2016 and awarded as best Chinese concept of that same year.



Define an identity for the Senova brand and imagine a new type of UX/UI for future Chinese users.


The Senova Offspace project had a twofold mission: to define an identity for the Senova brand and to imagine a new type of car for users, the future Chinese users, whose contexts, behaviors and preferences are undergoing profound changes. A key challenge was thus to design a car whose user experience plays an essential role in driving future desire, pleasure and, ultimately, brand preference. The OffSpace concept served as ‘halo car’ for the brand, making a statement both in terms of content (innovative typologies, focus on UX/UI) and styling (advanced and trendsetting).



We were involved in the early stages of concept definition and responsible for the complete exterior and interior design, including the construction of the prototype.


DEFINE : Based on a deep research into the future of Chinese users done together with our sister office Reframing Studio, three broad driving forces were identified. These gave strong direction for probing the needs and wants of the future Chinese users and generating ideas and concepts. The resulting target user experience was then translated into a detailed definition of interior and HMI content.

DESIGN: The first driving force, 'Self-Expression,' translated mainly into the expressive and bold exterior styling of the car, the two others, however, drove mostly its interior and interaction design, putting communication to the fore ('bonding') and approaching interior as a personal, private bubble that can sense your body ('well-being').

DEVELOP: We developed the final surface data for the exterior and interior, integrating all the technical and legal requirements and constructed the prototype in collaboration with our trusted local construction partners. Thanks to the efficiency and expertise of Granstudio, the whole project was delivered from start to finish in less than 5 months, just in time for the presentation at the Motorshow. The result was a show car that was bestowed the Beijing Motor Show 2016 'Best Concept Car' award, thanks notably to its exploration of a new 'cabin life' experienc


Development of the interior and prototype construction

Development of the HMI based on a research & content definition

We defined 3 driving forces for future users as basis to define the contents

We defined 3 driving forces for future users as basis to define the contents

The screens are modular and allow the user to choose based on his own needs

The screens are modular and allow the user to choose based on his own needs

Contents and layout can be personalised at home

Contents and layout can be personalised at home

Senova OFFSPACE is not a concept car in the traditional sense but reflects the research.
— Car Styling Award jury


This project was extremely rich from a content and interaction design point of view, and served to explore the possibilities offered by a large screen and sensors to bring smart & connected services into the car. It is important however to define first a clear vision about the desired use, and only then define which of the newly available technologies are actually meaningful for that.




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