At Milan Design Week, British automotive brand Land Rover chose the La Permanente Museum in the Brera Design District as the location to unveil their hotly anticipated Range Rover Velar.
Named after the badges that chief engineer Charles Spencer King used to conceal the identity of the first Range Rover prototypes in 1970, the new Velar (Latin for ‘to veil’) has been developed to fill the space between the Range Rover Evoque and the Sport, and follows the brand’s ‘reductionist’ design philosophy.
As well as trademark Range Rover details such as the floating roof and continuous waistline, the car’s exterior features super-slim Matrix Laser-LED headlights and flush deployable door handles. “The reductionist philosophy is about lessening visual complexity, identifying the main design elements needed to create the overall aesthetic and eliminating everything else,” designer Massimo Frascella told us. “The ‘less is more’ approach can result in something very plain and complexity is relatively easy, but to do something different that has a level of modernity and a timeless quality requires the reductionist approach. It’s a design quality that goes back to the pyramids.”
The Velar’s futuristic thinking didn’t stop at the exterior. The interior is equipped with two 10-inch touch screens that act as the interface for apps and entertainment. The Velar also thrills with its innovative and intuitive Pro Duo ‘technology butler’ that learns about its driver and anticipates its needs, catering to you better than Alfred to Batman.
Color and materials designer Amy Frascella has added the option to specify Kvadrat upholstery instead of traditional leather. “It’s a really exciting time to be in the automotive industry,” she explains. “Color and materials, which historically have been seen as a commodity, are starting to gain importance. People want brands to reflect their own personal values, so for example they are driving a move towards more sustainable materials, and options other than leather. That means we’re redefining luxury.”
Color and materials are starting to gain importance. We’re redefining luxury.
It’s the first time Kvadrat, a leading textiles manufacturer in interior design, has worked with an automotive brand. “Furniture is still about craftsmanship,” Kvadrat CEO Anders Byriel tells Design Milk. “The challenges we had to overcome for this industry were about performance, mass production and extreme durability. It was all about live testing – we had 20–40 cars testing the materials in real life scenarios in different geographies and climates. But we liked that. We’re looking for new milestones, things that can challenge us. We want to learn and develop, and apply new knowledge back to the furniture industry.”
As well as panel discussions with key members of the Velar design teams, the week’s events included an exhibition of abstract photography of key elements of the car, an exhibition exploring the reductionist design philosophy, cocktails, canapés and a live DJ.
Learn more about the Velar at landrover.com.