“A designer among designers” – Audi at Design Shanghai 2023

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With its commitment to play a decisive role in shaping the future of premium mobility, Audi will again be the main sponsor and an active exhibitor at Design Shanghai in 2023. For the first time in China, the brand with the four rings will present the Audi activesphere concept study; its digital ecosystem merges physical reality with a virtual sphere to create a new world. Following Design Shenzhen in February and before Design Beijing in September, Design Shanghai is the third Chinese design fair Audi will attend. The event is at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center from June 8 to 11, 2023.

Audi has partnered with international design fairs for many years. Following its involvement in 2020 and 2021, the company will again be present as a main sponsor and active exhibitor at Design Shanghai, Asia’s foremost trade fair for design. In keeping with the trade fair’s theme, ‘Beyond sustainability lies recreative design – Design for well-being’, Audi is displaying the activesphere concept design study in China for the first time. It’s holistic design puts humans at the centre.

Henrik Wenders, Head of Audi Brand, explains: “We are positioning ourselves at the trade fair as a designer among designers. After all, Audi sets standards with its progressive design, and we don’t just mean the shape of our cars. Audi Design brings our customers immersive, sustainable, and interactive experiences, pursuing our greater philosophy of shaping our future way of life. We aim to balance nature and society for a sustainable way of life for future generations. The Audi activesphere concept embodies our philosophy perfectly.”

Audi will present a walk-in installation outside the venue’s entrance. Under the motto ‘Reconnect with nature – celebrate the escape’, visitors can dive into the study through an immersive media installation and escape the busy city for a few minutes. Moreover, a WeChat app will let them interact with a virtual interface and enjoy a video-based augmented reality (AR) experience. A technology-first, the new Audi system combines the physical and virtual worlds (i.e., mixed reality) by displaying digital content in occupants’ fields of vision in real time.

The concept car itself is on display at the Audi booth, along with its entire range of possible equipment, such as e-bikes, golf bags, e-foils, and other water and winter sports gear. What makes this car special is that the crossover coupé transforms into a pickup truck at the touch of a button in seconds, with a cargo area perfect for carrying recreational equipment. There is even an integrated ski rack in the centre of the roof.

The concept car was conceived and designed at the Audi Design Studio in Malibu. Charles Lefranc, Design Manager, and Ryan Schlotthauer, Interior Designer, will travel from Malibu to explain the car’s design live at the booth twice daily. A panel talk with the designers on ‘The Future of Mobility – Designed for Well-being’ will also take place on the opening day of the Design Forum event. Aidan Walker, the curator of Design Shanghai, will offer a short introduction and then hand over to Esther Francis (Vice President, FAW Audi Sales Co., Ltd.).