We take insights from unfulfilled needs and current frustrations to inform our work and inspire us to create exciting new concepts.
But this vision is worth little without execution and it is DCA’s technical know-how that drives our design concepts through to market without compromise.
Insights and strategy
We use a range of research techniques to thoroughly understand the complete journey experience, developing an in-depth knowledge of the people involved, their needs and aspirations.
This evidence-based approach focuses us on resolving the problems that are most important to your stakeholders, while integrating memorable features and services that will delight them and build customer loyalty.
Ergonomics and Human Factors
Nowhere are the ergonomic demands more challenging than when transporting diverse and differently able people in safety and comfort.
Combining theoretical techniques, cognitive tools and anthropometric data with practical experimentation, our award winning Human Factors team places the human element at the heart of our design process.
Learn more about our Human Factors capabilities here
In an increasingly connected world, user interfaces are key to everything we do and are crucial in determining whether we enjoy a product or service.
Combining digital and analogue elements to deliver simplicity of use and clarity of communication in an engaging and beautiful fashion is becoming one of the most challenging and exciting parts of our design process, particularly for inherently complex transport infrastructures.
Learn more about our UI/UX capabilities here
Our cross-functional creativity helps us maintain a unique position as one of the world’s most innovative transport design consultancies.
Innovations generated by us have resulted in over 3,900 patent applications and more than 1,700 granted patents for our clients worldwide since 2000.
We use our knowledge and experience to explore and apply innovative technical solutions that go beyond the accepted industry norms, opening up new commercial opportunities.
Design, engineering, electronics and software teams collaborate closely to develop unified solutions that push the boundaries but manage the technical risk.
Whether it's remotely piloted air taxis, self-driving cars or semi-autonomous mini-buses, new technologies and computing methodologies are opening up new transportation opportunities.
Our multidisciplinary transport team has extensive experience of delivering real world solutions in these exciting new markets.
Creating new digital solutions by applying technology in new and surprising ways is one of the new design challenges.
We are shaping how the digital world impacts on our everyday experiences and determining how it influences our relationship with technology.
Creating the vision
New technology is opening up opportunities to radically reshape our transport infrastructure, while new business models and leisure expectations are changing our mobility needs.
We are constantly looking to create new transportation visions for the near future in response to these exciting technological and social changes. These ideas need to push the boundaries of what is possible while remaining relevant and realistic.
Exploring visual options
Sketching and foam modelling remain the best way to explore visual ideas and bring them to life, though now we combine rapid prototyping with digital and hand skills to deliver higher quality and greater efficiency.
Visual creativity is a highly tactile, iterative activity that flourishes when we work together to explore and refine multiple visual options. Perfection requires repetition.
We need to share our ideas and visions with you and your customers throughout the design process for review and validation.
Our visualisation, virtual reality and multimedia team works side by side with our designers at all stages of the project to communicate potential solutions at increasing levels of detail and fidelity so that informed decisions can be made on the design intent.
Colour, materials and finishes (CMF)
The look and feel of the CMF we specify will dramatically influence a design's personality and the brand messages it delivers. Transport products are typically long-lived, so our CMF solutions must be durable and future proofed.
A successful CMF solution takes inspiration from the world around us and combines visual and technology trends within the practical constraints imposed by manufacturing and maintenance requirements.
Vehicle interior design is primarily about optimising the use of a limited space to create a welcoming, memorable environment that makes passengers feel special, while complying with standards, regulations and best practice, including human factors and accessibility requirements. Transport interiors also need to be functional and comfortable, as well as incorporating unexpected features and design details that will differentiate and delight.
Colour palettes, pattern designs and finishes will be selected to convey the appropriate corporate and service-specific branding messages. Materials must be compliant, hard wearing and easy to maintain. The right mix of ambient, task and mood lighting solutions is also vital.
DCA has worked with dozens of brands to help them establish a consistent approach to their design form.
We achieve this by first working with the brands own team to identify the core values of the brand which can be communicated through its physical objects, and developing an aesthetic design style which reflects these values. We call this Visual Brand Language (VBL).
We then develop a tool kit of design elements to express the brands unique DNA in a way which can be communicated to other designers. The elements of this tool kit may be drawn from heritage cues, distinct branding elements or new design equities developed to reflect the attributes of the brand.
We integrate the latest technologies like CNC machining and rapid prototyping with the skills and experience of our workshop team to build, test and refine models, rigs, prototypes and mock ups within our extensive in-house workshops.
Keeping this part of the development process in-house means we can manage timescales and control quality while maintaining project confidentiality to protect your intellectual property investment.
Learn more about our prototyping capabilities here
Testing and refining
Whether it’s with a functional rig, an ergonomic mock-up or an immersive virtual reality environment, we are constantly looking for ways to test and refine our proposed solutions.
Physical and virtual prototyping allows us to engage with the widest range of stakeholders throughout the project, encouraging them to become part of the creative process.
Visionary design concepts rely on engineering excellence to turn them into reality and they can only be delivered if they meet the relevant regulations, standards and certification requirements.
We work closely with all project stakeholders, including suppliers and certification bodies, to ensure that our visions can be brought to market faithfully in a form that is cost-effective, functional and durable.