MDE. Mazda Design Europe.

eMove360° inquired: How light and shadow shape car design

Light plays a pivotal role in all areas of our lives. The appearance of vehicles can also be significantly influenced by the incidence of light and reflections. That’s why, for the current issue of eMove360° magazine in german language, we find out from Mazda designers why they are not only concerned with shapes and material selection, but also with how light and shadow can be used to create elegant surfaces and a unique design language.

Light fills spaces with life, colors and shapes. Light is everywhere, even if it is sometimes barely noticeable or not noticeable at all. It influences biological processes and opens our eyes to the beauty of the world. And it interacts with the environment: light can not only illuminate an environment or an object, but also shape it.

Shadow also belongs to light: not as the opposite, but as a complement. Together they define the volume of an object, its expression and its effect. It is important to pay attention to the duality of light and shadow and the interplay of nuances when designing vehicles.

Soul of motion

The central inspiration of Mazda design is Kodo – the “soul of movement. “Mazda’s design language is based on a philosophy that views vehicles as living objects. Kodo combines three elements: Ma, the beauty and harmony of empty space; Sori, the balanced and poised curves; and Utsuroi, the play of light and shadow.

Mazda designers pay close attention to how these elements interact: how light affects the surfaces of the vehicle, for example, to create that visual effect of continuous movement that makes Mazda design so unique. Light, which emphasizes the lines and colors of the exterior design, plays just as important a role as light and shadow, which are reflected in the interior, on the dashboard, seats and side panels.

In keeping with the Ma concept, the elimination of all sharp lines on the model’s surfaces creates an empty space, a canvas on which light brings out the vehicle’s natural beauty.

“Reflections are an essential part of our design language. So we pay special attention to how light interacts with the car so we can emphasize design details, shapes and colors,” says Gustave Djon Toug, Mazda senior designer. One example is the S-shaped reflections on the sides of the Mazda CX-60, which are bathed in changing light when the car is in motion. In doing so, they create flowing and reflective patterns that enhance the impression of movement and bring the car to life even when stationary. The result is a Japanese aesthetic that combines minimalist forms with lush expressiveness.

Using their emotional power and contrasting qualities, light and shadow can completely redefine experiences and experiences. Both elements are constantly changing, thus offering endless possibilities to create objects with emotional impact.

Download the current issue of eMove360° magazine in german language for free here or order the print version in the online shop.

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28.06.2023   |  

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