PSA Design Centre - 'Automotive Design Network'

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The 'platforms' policy, of which PSA was one of the pioneers, involves close cooperation between engineers and designers. The various models of a given platform share more than 60% of their components. The task of designers is therefore to bring out the differences in the products of a platform, by using the remaining 40% of freedom to emphasize the more emotional aspects of a car – the value-building elements of style, comfort and vehicle features. In this context, the design team plays a role very early on in new product development, in conjunction with the engineers responsible for vehicle architecture.

Pooling resources has brought major results in several areas including quality assurance, safety and environmental protection. The creation of the Advanced Design Network has also made it possible to physically reorganize the various elements of vehicle development. The Vélizy site specialises in vehicle styling and architecture, whereas the La Garenne-Colombes site is dedicated to developing mechanical assemblies.

The ADN aims to bring together and reap the benefits of a multinational workforce with wide ranging experiences and cultural inputs. PSA hopes that the centre will be a melting pot of ideas that positions it well in a truly global business environment.

Summary reports have long been drafted following visits to exhibitions or trade shows, but there is considerable scope for further refining such exercises. The ADN is a focus of culture and exchange, with an even greater motivating power, stemming from the fact that it is itself a magnet of interest, through its architecture, and a place of creative expression, in its work. The ADN brings to the designers of both marques the advantages of working closely together, while preserving the privacy of each group. Floor plans have been scaled and organized, and services have been structured in a manner that precludes any merging of the two teams or confusion between them. The teams of Citroën and Peugeot designers and engineers have been gathered in the same building, but they remain autonomous to ensure that they will always be a source of constructive competitiveness.

Powerful lights are utilised for vehicle presentations. Specially designed work spaces are flooded with natural light.

The success of the design centre relies on the harmonious cooperation between the different professions involved in creating cars. Virtual-reality technology shares the spotlight with traditional manual processes used to create actual-scale models. That is why, from the start, the design for the ADN submitted by Jacques Ripault gave absolute priority to the play of light, by placing the virtual reality rooms in the rear parts of the building while bringing the rooms dedicated to scale models into the front areas that are flooded by the midday sun.

The building is organised according to the stages in a vehicle's development, with six levels on three main floors into which daylight spills from light wells. The garden-level floor includes shared workshops, including the prototype creation workshops, as well as the bodywork and vehicle interior areas and the 'CAVE™' visualization system.

The street level is dedicated to the engineering project areas. This level leads to the former Citroën Creation Centre, which has been redesigned. The fourth level contains the styling area, made up of three spaces apportioned to Citroën, Peugeot and joint-project teams. The upper level is reserved for presentations, which can take place either in natural lighting, or in a cyclorama where nine vehicles can be displayed in high-quality lighting. All workstations within the building are connected to a fiber-optics network.

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