Dezeen Magazine

Virtual reality will make car design more sustainable says DS Automobiles design director Thierry Métroz

Thierry Métroz explains how DS Automobiles is using virtual reality to design more sustainably in this video produced by Dezeen as part of our Design for Life collaboration with Dassault Systèmes.

Métroz is the fifth designer to feature in the Design for Life collaboration between Dezeen and French design software brand Dassault Systèmes, which highlights designers who are using technology and research to build a better world.

The French automobile designer worked as a design director at both Renault and Citroën before joining DS Automobiles, which began as a luxury offshoot of Citroën but is now an independent brand.

DS Aero Sport Lounge by DS Automobiles
DS Automobiles is a luxury car brand based in Paris

DS Automobiles is a French luxury car brand based in Paris, which draws on the design legacy of the iconic Citroën DS released in 1955.

"The spirit of avant-garde is really at the centre of our DNA, and we've kept this spirit from the original DS," says Métroz in the video, which was filmed by Dezeen for Dassault Systèmes at the DS Automobiles headquarters in Paris.

"It was a car with a lot of technical innovation, and we keep this spirit when we design the future DS," he continued.

Alongside its range of production cars, DS Automobiles is known for futuristic concept cars.

Earlier this year, the brand unveiled its design for the DS Aero Sport Lounge, an aerodynamic concept car with a screen in place of a grille that communicates with pedestrians and other drivers, as well as gesture-controlled functions.

DS Aero Sport Lounge by DS Automobiles
The DS Aero Sport Lounge was designed using Dassault Systèmes' software

"Our target was a very efficient car" explained Métroz of the vehicle's aerodynamic shape, which was designed using parametric modelling software in order to achieve the least possible wind resistance.

The DS Automobiles design team used Dassault Systèmes' software throughout the design process.

Dassault Systèmes offers a suite of 3D software for designers, architects and engineers called 3DExperience, which includes well-known CAD products such as Solidworks and Catia, as well as virtual reality tools that are used in a wide range of industries.

DS Automobiles design cars using virtual reality
The DS Automobiles team use virtual reality tools to review their designs

"In our design process, we use 80 per cent digital tools, and they are really strategic in our design development," said Métroz.

"We use Dassault Systèmes' software from the beginning; tools for 3D modelling, virtual reality, parametric design and 3D printing."

After creating the initial shape of the car using CAD software and parametric tools, Métroz and his team refine the design in Dassault Systèmes' virtual reality software.

DS Automobiles design director Thierry Métroz
DS Automobiles design director Thierry Métroz says that virtual reality is the future of car design

According to Métroz, using virtual reality is a more sustainable way to design cars.

"The process is very sustainable because we don't need to do a full size mockup and we don't use raw materials," he said. "To be more sustainable is one of the most important challenges for all the automobile industry."

The designer predicts that virtual reality tools will become increasingly prevalent in the car design industry.

"In five to ten years, 80 per cent of all design development will be done with virtual reality," he claimed.

Design for Life

Design For Life is a content collaboration between Dezeen and Dassault Systèmes featuring talks and videos highlighting designers who are using technology and research to build a better world.

The collaboration kicked off with a live talk with architect Arthur Mamou-Mani and Dassault Systèmes’ vice president of design experience Anne Asensio, in which the architect explained how he is collaborating with the brand to explore how 3D printing can be used to create sustainable structures using bioplastics.

So far, the video series has featured profiles of Austrian designer Julia KoernerExploration Architecture founder Michael PawlynStudio INI founder Nassia Inglessis, and Mamou Mani.