Concept Breathe: a 3D printed ‘breathing’ car seat

What will the car of the future look like? Will it be a second living room, or rather a partner that responds to our actions? Car manufacturer Audi AG and a team of students from Braunschweig University of Art teamed up to develop Concept Breathe, a 3D printed, ‘breathing’ car seat that lies on the intersection of man and machine, and which you can see at Material Xperience (click here for your free entry ticket)!

The concept car seat builds on Audi’s study ‘Klara – The Living One’. Klara is a transformed A1 that responds to human interaction through moving body panels and subtle sounds.

The design part of the concept seat was strongly inspired by forms and systems occurring in nature to develop a structurally sound, lightweight system to house an array of active components. The team concluded that 3D printing was the most viable way to create the complex form of the chair. They used the material Pro-HT Plastic, which is a biodegradable plastic with high strength properties.

At the same time, a second team developed and produced a set of 38 bespoke, active components that became incorporated into the seat’s surface to dynamically adjust its visual and haptic properties. The components should increase the seat’s ability to respond to changing driving conditions but especially to enhance the user’s identification with the animate object through motions of breathing.

Finally, a number of customised cushions from a high-performance fabric were added in five separate areas to guarantee the necessary comfort and stability.

The students were under the supervision of Dr. Manuel Kretzer, visiting professor Digital Crafting, while Audi’s development and innovation unit is lead by Mike Herbig.

Material Xperience
Want to see the seat in real life? Visit the Mobility Pavilion at Material Xperience! The trade fair takes place from 13-15 March 2018 in Rotterdam Ahoy. For more information and a free ticket, click here.

Photos: Maximilian Dauscha / Benedikt Schaudinn