Tuesday, 8 October 2013

MADA - Volgren Optimus Bus

The Volgren Optimus low floor route bus was designed by Dr Robbie Napper and a team from Monash University Art Design and Architecture MADA.

Volgren Optimus Bus designed by Monash Art Design and Architecture MADA

The Optimus project was undertaken in partnership between Volgren Australia Pty Ltd and the Department of Design at MADA, Monash University’s Faculty of Art Design & Architecture. The subject matter of Optimus is Volgren’s low floor route bus body.

Volgren Optimus Bus

Volgren Optimus Bus designed by Monash Art Design and Architecture MADA

Through research, the project sought to develop products in response to several project aims dealing with themes of:

· manufacturing,
· labour,
· material cost,
· maintaining and improving Volgren’s sustainable competitive advantage in the market,
· facelift styling, and
· seeking out potential value-adding features.

These aims are expanded on below and rephrased as research questions. The work covered in this report was undertaken in several stages commencing in 2010 with a scoping report and ending with the completion of a prototype vehicle in 2013 at which point Volgren’s work continued into production ramp-up and design deployment.

The project rationale is tied to Volgren’s business operations. Although deeply conservative, the bus industry rewards innovative products with sales. Further to this, the project aims to maximise efficiencies in Volgren’s operations; namely the sales-design-engineering-production-aftersales-sales loop of business.

The project was undertaken as research. Given the requirement that a successful outcome would be realised as a vehicle design, the principal methodology of enquiry was design. 

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