• Morgan LIFECar

Humphries, Matthew, 2008, Art or design object, Morgan LIFECar

Abstract or Description:

Humphries is an industrial designer working principally with Morgan Motor Company, an internationally iconic British manufacturer. Before the REF census period, Humphries was the first Head of Design for the company, which had previously been sustained only by engineering and craft skills.
LIFECar was a concept car for the motor trade, balancing luxury and sustainability. The output was a full-size, working prototype for an environmentally clean vehicle. Other partners in the £1.7m project were Cranfield University, Riversimple, Oxford University, QinetiQ, OSCar and BOC Linde. The research team focused on reducing the quantity and density of material, together with novel power technologies. Humphries’s design research focused on reconciling luxury with use of lightweight materials. Research processes included (1) analysis of existing and historical embodiments of luxury in automotive design and in architecture, furniture, luxury goods and other fields; (2) close working with company engineers and craftspeople to draw out their tacit understanding of quality, especially in relation to materials and techniques.
The result was to challenge current concepts of luxury based on over-use of materials, instead celebrating quality of making, honesty of materials, sympathy between materials and manufacturing processes, and British idiosyncrasy. The ‘new luxury’ concept developed is now a guiding principle of Morgan Motor Company’s continuing design strategy.
LIFECar was shown at the Geneva Motor Show 2008 and the Cranfield/Royal Academy of Engineering exhibition (2009). It was discussed extensively in trade publications. International press included Corriere della Sera (Italy, 2008), Montreal Gazette (2013), Sydney Morning Herald (2009), The Sunday Age (Australia, 2008), Die Zeit (Germany, 2010). It also featured as a BBC Newsbeat article ‘Green cars get sexier’ (2008).

Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies > W240 Industrial/Product Design
Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies > W280 Interactive and Electronic Design
School or Centre: School of Design
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2013 16:20
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2018 14:26
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/1479
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