built-in discos & plants: fashion photographer sees the spacious side of hyundai's IONIQ 6

built-in discos & plants: fashion photographer sees the spacious side of hyundai's IONIQ 6

hyundai’s ioniq 6 sees new light through Esther Haase’s lens

 

When a photographer, a car designer, and a car are in the same room, a conversation of built-in discos, espresso machines, progressive technology, and sustainability takes a wild turn. Eduardo Ramírez, Head of Exterior Design at Hyundai Design Center Europe, sits down for a chat with star fashion photographer Esther Haase on the occasion of IONIQ 6 – the company’s first fully electric sedan. Released right after IONIQ 5, the car has caught a lot of attention for its sleek and original form, with inspiration taken also from the brand’s IONIQ ‘SEVEN’ – a concept design with a mere focus on the interior and an eco-friendly approach. So, what did they actually talk about?

built-in discos & plants: fashion photographer sees the spacious side of hyundai's IONIQ 6
star fashion photographer Esther Haase meets Hyundai’s Head of Exterior Design, Eduardo Ramírez

all images courtesy of David Goldman X ramp.pictures/ Hyundai

 

 

Esther Haase was born in Bremen in 1966. Her father was a professor of photography and design, while her mother was a designer and illustrator. Since 1993, Esther has worked for international clients and magazines as well as various collections, museums and exhibitions in addition to publishing her own photography books – winning numerous awards in the process. As her lens meets Hyundai‘s Head of Exterior Design, Eduardo Ramírez, a discussion around automotive technology, aesthetics, and sustainable design begins to literally take form. The table fills with sketches and images, as we become witnesses to exclusive insights of the Korean automotive manufacturer’s IONIQ 6.

built-in discos & plants: fashion photographer sees the spacious side of hyundai's IONIQ 6
a photographer, a designer, and a car that connects the future with the past

 

 

Hyundai’s IONIQ 6 immediately stands out because of its curved lines and elegant simplicity. The design is futuristic, but at the same time reminiscent of the 1920s, the era of the iconic streamliner design concept that relates to cars, trains, and airplanes. The sensibility of that time is similar to the present, because then and now it’s all about efficiency. The car’s extremely low drag coefficient, in combination with a state-of-the-art electric powertrain, ensures that range is no longer an issue; and besides the functionality, there’s also the aesthetics.

 

 

Eduardo Ramírez: What was it like when you stepped inside an IONIQ 6 for the first time?

 

Esther Haase: What I find so fascinating about this car is the contrast between the exterior and the interior. From the outside, as I said, it looks incredibly fast, you expect a real sports car. But once you’re sitting inside, you have this incredible amount of space, it’s really comfortable, a place to simply enjoy yourself – or work, if you have to.

built-in discos & plants: fashion photographer sees the spacious side of hyundai's IONIQ 6
Esther and Eduardo discuss and reveal the many assets of Hyundai’s IONIQ 6

 

 

‘the interior of IONIQ 6 is a modern living room,’ says eduardo

 

Hyundai first introduced the design principle of the mindful cocoon in the dome-like cabin of its Prophecy concept. IONIQ 6 took over the idea with relatively few compromises. The embracing interior serves as both a comfortable hideaway and a personal living space and is packed with practical features as well as sustainable materials to create a mindful, environmentally friendly mobility experience.

 

 

Eduardo Ramírez: That’s the special thing about electric cars – they’re not just quiet while offering incredibly dynamic acceleration, they also make new concepts possible. No engine is in the front and no big tunnel runs down the middle. Instead, you have this flat-floor platform. We want to exploit these advantages as much as possible in order to maximize the experience for Hyundai customers. That’s why we designed the interior and exterior of the car in parallel from the beginning. Defining the proportions with a very long wheelbase gave us a large interior in which we created a living room atmosphere. We call it a mindful cocoon.

 

 

Esther Haase: Can you explain how you define a ‘mindful cocoon’?

 

Eduardo Ramírez: I like to compare the interior design with my grandparents’ living room. Their furniture is heavy. Everything reaches all the way to the floor. Sure, the furniture is decorative, but everything is fixed in one place. The interior of IONIQ 6, on the other hand, is a modern living room. It’s minimalist, light, and flexible.

 

hyundai-design-center-europe-designboom-fullwidth

IONIQ 6’s cocoon-shaped interior serves as both a comfortable hideaway and a personal living space

 

Esther Haase: The sofa is there. All that’s missing now are some plants.

 

 

Eduardo Ramírez: That’s not a problem. The larger wheelbase allows for more legroom, but it also gives us space to be creative. There are surfaces where you can put things down, just like at home, where your keys, your smartphone or your handbag all have their own place. And you could certainly keep a plant there, if you like. The glove compartment, for example, doesn’t pop open downwards the conventional way; it opens like a drawer, and the occupants can use the surface in whatever way suits them best.

built-in discos & plants: fashion photographer sees the spacious side of hyundai's IONIQ 6
‘an electric car, which no longer has all these constraints due to the combustion engine, frees up space to use,’ says Esther Haase

 

 

Why not invite over a few friends and have a little party in the car?

 

Esther Haase: Allow me to make a comparison with photography. We used to have these big cameras, and when we shot a car, it was all about producing these huge posters. Today, everything is mobile and small, and we produce content for Instagram. It’s a completely different visual language. An electric car, which no longer has all these constraints due to the combustion engine, frees up space to use. Why not invite over a few friends and have a little party in the car?

 

Eduardo Ramírez: That’s certainly a possibility…

 

Esther Haase: I could bring my tea kettle…

 

Eduardo Ramírez: You could. Or an espresso machine. There is a power outlet, after all.

 

 

Esther Haase: That would be great! When you drive a lot, it’s really nice to have a little espresso in between. And with the sound system and ambient lighting, you’ve already got a built-in disco. Given all these possibilities, we’re sure to change the way we look at cars.

built-in discos & plants: fashion photographer sees the spacious side of hyundai's IONIQ 6
‘the larger wheelbase allows for more legroom, but it also gives us space to be creative,’ explains Eduardo

 

 

Esther Haase: Mr. Ramírez, IONIQ 6 looks as it was drawn with a single stroke of a pen. Where did Hyundai’s Design team get its inspiration for this car?

 

Eduardo Ramírez: When we first started talking about the streamliner form, we were able to draw on clear references from the past for inspiration. There are several examples in automotive history that express this very clearly. The original Saab, for example, which was designed by aeronautical engineers when the aircraft manufacturer decided to build cars in the late 1940s. It is a very free interpretation of the first-ever submarine.

built-in discos & plants: fashion photographer sees the spacious side of hyundai's IONIQ 6
the inside of IONIQ 6 consists of ecologically treated leather and recycled PET fabric for the seats

 

 

IONIQ 6 is produced using sustainable materials, something that was already envisaged in the Prophecy concept. The designers speak of ‘ethical uniqueness’, which reflects a promise to customers and a commitment to energy efficiency and environmental responsibility. For the exterior, recycled pigment paint from old tires is used for the cladding and bamboo charcoal pigment paint for the body. Inside, the trim consists of ecologically treated leather and recycled PET fabric for the seats, an organic rubber blend for the dashboard and a bio PET fabric for the headliner, depending on the level selected. Other sustainable materials include an organic varnish made from vegetable oils for the door panels and recycled fishing nets for the carpeting.

built-in discos & plants: fashion photographer sees the spacious side of hyundai's IONIQ 6
for the car’s exterior, recycled pigment paint from old tires is used for the cladding and bamboo charcoal pigment paint for the body

 

 

‘we don’t want to just tell people: “be sustainable”, says Eduardo Ramírez

 

Eduardo Ramírez: What role does sustainability play for you in a car?

 

Esther Haase: Sustainability is an extremely important topic for me. Recycling in particular is absolutely necessary for us and our planet. When I look at its materials, IONIQ 6 is a really great choice. From this perspective, I also consider the design to be important. When you buy a car, you often choose the one that you like best in terms of design – so it’s even better if the design can also make a difference to society.

 

 

Eduardo Ramírez: It’s also an important aspect for us. We don’t want to just tell people: ‘be sustainable’. You have to give them the possibility to choose a design product that also serves a responsible purpose. That’s why we made sure that the materials we used generated as few carbon dioxide emissions in their production as possible. Wherever we used new materials, we made sure they were made from organic sources like sugar cane.

built-in discos & plants: fashion photographer sees the spacious side of hyundai's IONIQ 6
‘you have to give them the possibility to choose a design product that also serves a responsible purpose,’ says Eduardo Ramírez

built-in discos & plants: fashion photographer sees the spacious side of hyundai's IONIQ 6
‘wherever we used new materials, we made sure they were made from organic sources like sugar cane,’ concludes Eduardo on Hyundai’s IONIQ 6

 

 

project info:

 

product name: IONIQ 6

company: Hyundai

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