In 2016 South Korean mobility company, Hyundai, in conjunction with the top entertainment and music group in Korea, SM Entertainment, approached tangerine to help them design and build a new mobile entertainment platform.
“Hyundai and SM Entertainment wanted to create an exclusive, bespoke platform that could offer a unique environment to host on-the-move recording sessions and live streaming, a bit like the car-pool karaoke skit James Corden does on The Late Late Show in the US but taken to a new level,” says Young Choo, tangerine Director Korea.
The design project aimed to promote the versatility of the Hyundai Solati van and effectively co-brand the space to showcase Hyundai’s partnership with SM Entertainment and their celebrity clientele.
For tangerine’s designers, whose work includes portable hotel rooms and premium airline seating, the Solati van was another small-space design challenge that required ingenuity and innovative thinking, within the smallest of spaces.
The moving studio had to accommodate recording, editing and broadcasting live interviews of K-pop bands while on the move. So the challenge was finding a balance between creating a cool, premium, comfortable environment for the band at the back of the van while meeting the technical and functional demands of the film and recording crew as well as all of their equipment.
During the design development, tangerine consulted specialist film and sound technicians, who previously worked on the BBC’s Top Gear and Channel 4’s Gogglebox television programmes, to inform the selection and positioning of the equipment within the van to deliver a high-performance studio within the compacted space.
Hyundai provided an ideal list of studio equipment based on a standard brick and mortar recording studio, but tangerine quickly identified that everything would need to be re-specified in order to create a suitable live recording and lighting environment within the van. The problems that needed to be addressed within the interior space of the van included: sourcing the right type and number of cameras, identifying their positions and angles, ensuring that all of the onboard equipment wouldn’t overheat, and configuring the space to allow a 4-5 man crew to edit and broadcast the live show.
Every camera needed to feature each of the K-pop stars sat around the client sofa equally, so multiple cameras and the sound installation needed to be artfully designed to create the right studio environment. An adjustable dimming light, the LiteRibbon LED, helps to successfully get rid of backlight while filming the SM artists.
The exterior of the van also needed to be co-branded between Hyundai and SM Entertainment to promote their partnership, which presented a challenge to find an appropriate way for the van livery to represent both companies harmoniously and engagingly.
The design solution carefully integrates audio-visual systems into a mobile platform whilst overcoming the challenges of sound reverberations and the potential danger of excess heat generation within a confined area.
Six compact high-resolution cameras were built into the van for stable broadcasting, while mobile and soundproof silencers help reduce external noise and interference. Adjustable dimming LED lights were introduced to ensure that the celebrity guests are appropriately lit during on-the-go filming.
The final result is an exclusive, bespoke platform that offers a unique environment to host on-the-move recording sessions and live streaming; redefining what can be achieved within the space of a van.
The Solati Van has picked up a Good Design Award in the USA and an iF Design Award from Germany, in recognition of the innovative design solution.
“tangerine is helping Hyundai to challenge the meaning of mobility, to move beyond transportation and become a provider of experience and entertainment”, says Choo.