Design Works

Design is a continuous process of concentration and sublimation in which each step has to be worked through carefully to the end. If there is no nugget of inspiration in the ideas at the sketching stage, no matter how much they are refined later at the modeling stage, they will fail to shine. Only when all the designers are truly committed to seeing it through to the end, can a design that possesses originality and a high degree of completeness be realized.

Concept Making

The car design process begins with a design concept. Having been briefed on the development goal, the target customer profile, and other aspects of the vehicle development plan, the design team first thinks about the car design concept. The designers research their own market and, bearing in mind the latest trends and other factors, explore what themes meet the customers needs. There follows exhaustive discussions until designers are satisfied with a shared vehicle image as the concept.

Idea Sketch — freehand

The first step in giving expression to the image in the designer's head is to make a freehand idea sketch. Taking into account the concept adopted, and the various conditions set at the concept-making stage, the designer begins a series of sketches. At this stage the sketch is about giving a sense of the design goal, the potential for its future development.

Idea Sketch — computer

Pencils, pastels, markers and the other sketching tools used by designers have changed with the times. Nowadays, personal computers play an important role as drawing tools for designers.
Computers allow the designer to examine design ideas, sophisticated expressions, and visual images in a short time. Personal computers are thus a valuable tool for designers that offer them a way for expressing the image they want to convey.

Digital Design

A digital modeler takes the designer's sketch and gives the idea a three-dimensional shape. A vehicle that no one has yet seen is given concrete form in virtual space. To give the drawing a three-dimensional shape, a large amount of information has to be gathered. Moreover, the appeal and distinctive features of the idea and the image conceived by the designer must be respected as the sketch is translated into lines and surfaces. This conversion process requires creativity and makes the greatest demands on the digital modeler's talents.

Exterior Color Development

Color design. That means not just applying color but giving individuality to a vehicle. Color design, just like exterior and interior design, is an important element in determining the character of a vehicle. Total color coordination is critical. Analysis is undertaken of a whole range of data including what colors are in vogue in the fields of fashion and interior design around the world, to decide on the best color for the vehicle and also to bring out its individuality.

Interior Color Development

Colors must be chosen but be coordinated. Instrument panel and steering wheel, seat fabric, ceiling, carpet and other interior fittings are made of a wide range of materials. Because of this, the interior colors are studied repeatedly from a variety of perspectives. This creates a space that pleases all five senses. Careful attention to individual colors and materials is the key to creating a total impression.

Clay Modeling

In the creation of a three-dimensional clay model, the clay modeler works together with the designer to ensure an understanding of the original intention, using eyes and hands to check the actual finished lines and surfaces as the model takes shape. In forming a shared idea of the design goal, image and themes, a satisfactory result will not be possible unless the modeler and the designer can achieve a united approach. The work involves molding and chiseling then molding and chiseling again. By repeating this process, which may seem simple to an outsider, the shape of the vehicle is tested and refined down to the finest line.

Interior Mock-up

When exploring the interior design, a mock-up that is as close as possible to the real object is used. The wood modeler uses not just wood but plastics, metal, fabrics and a wide range of other materials to create a full-size model of the designer's idea. The designer can then check not only the spaciousness and feel of the cabin but also the cabin accessibility, ensuring visibility, the visual "friendliness" of the meters and the operability of the controls at a full-size scale.
Toyota's wood modelers include professionals who have won first prize in the international technical skills contest known as the World Skills Competition.

Skill and Tool

The modeler's world is one of skilled workmanship. This skill and process of improvement have all the features of a craft. The skills involved in modeling can be taught, but the rest of it has to be learned alone. Understanding the designer's intentions and responding with the appropriate modeling skills, judgment, and appreciation of the physical mass of the vehicle — an expert feeling for this kind of task is acquired through practice and careful thought on the job.

Looking from the customer angle

In a final design process, customer's angle is needed. The Decision Hall has a roof that opens and closes. When the roof is opened, the design of the model, which is placed on a turntable, can be studied under natural light from every direction despite the indoor location. The facility also has special lighting that allows the model to be viewed in conditions close to natural light on rainy days and at night.

The facility also has virtual display capabilities. On the screen, an image of the actual vehicle is projected. This makes it possible to study the design of a number of vehicles at the same time.

Viewing vehicles in natural light. Viewing vehicles digitally. Regardless of the method used, the most important thing is to see things from the customer's viewpoint.

Roof Open

Roof Closed