Made by Sweden
Where we come from
How Volvo Cars’ homeland shapes the essential nature of the new
S90 and V90.
A place where our environment inspires us. Where we design things differently. Where technology is human and natural. Where Volvo Cars comes from.
Our land of light and dark is a place where creativity flourishes
“There is research showing that people are more creative in darkness,” says Swedish lighting designer Kai Piippo. “You are more concentrated, more focused and more productive. You also sleep more, whereas in the summer in Sweden you have so much extra energy because of increased daylight.”
The phenomenon of Nordic light – the extremes of light and dark, summer and winter – is one thing that makes light so special in Sweden.
KAI PIIPPO - SWEDISH LIGHTING DESIGNER
Light is the main factor in the relationship between people and their surroundings.
Another is a pronounced twilight phase, the transition between light and dark, which is defined by a very slow movement of light. “In Stockholm in the middle of summer the twilight phase lasts an hour and 34 minutes. In Rome it’s 30 minutes,” says Kai. “The interesting thing with twilight is that everything is amplified. Things become quiet and slow down. Your senses are heightened. You hear more and see more. It’s a very creative time; this is when a lot of paintings are created.”
Where functional design is also beautiful
GERT WINGÅRDH - SCANDINAVIAN DESIGN
It’s nice if you have the feeling of a human hand in the way things are put together. That really is the premium touch.
Designed for life
Asked to define Scandinavian design, Gert Wingårdh, Sweden’s most iconic architect, says: “Traditionally, Sweden had a lack of resources and the harsh conditions of the north meant people had to achieve a lot with very little. That’s intelligent, innate design.”
This design language has simplicity, functionality and minimalism at its core, but Scandinavian design is also beautiful. Gert believes natural materials play an important role in this aesthetic.
“There is a truth and honesty about materials in Sweden,” adds Gert. “If it looks and feels like wood, it should be wood. We like to use materials in their purest sense. Sweden can be very cold so we appreciate design that enhances a sense of warmth. Materials are very important in achieving this.”
Where our unique landscape crafts who we are
ANDREAS ANDERSSON - AIR FILTER ENGINEER
When you’re out walking in the forest that sharp, fresh air has a really calming influence.
Where we create innovative solutions that are powerful and efficient
MARTIN WEDEL - POWERTRAIN ENGINEER
Downsizing engines leads to better fuel consumption. Adding smart technology gives you no-compromise power.
Where cutting-edge technology is designed around people
As 21st-century humans, we are inextricably linked to technology. It enriches our lives in so many ways – but it is also important not to be consumed by it. At Volvo Cars, the focus on any new element of technology is always ‘How will this make life better for the people who will use it?’
It’s very Swedish to think like this – to start with the person who will use the product and design it around their needs, rather than design technology for technology’s sake.
Technology that is ultimately intuitive and natural and genuinely makes your life better is a true luxury. As Christine Lindberg, interaction design director at Volvo Cars, says: “We don’t overcomplicate things. Our philosophy is always to focus on people’s needs to create the technology.”
Where we develop technology that makes your life safer
The little widget in the photograph above is a Volvo Cars’ invention. It may look inconspicuous but this device – fitted in the front seats of Volvo Cars’ new generation of vehicles – helps absorb the energy of an impact during a crash to improve your safety.
Built into the seat between the backrest and the lower cushion, its job is to significantly absorb the downward forces between seat and seat frame should your vehicle leave the road and land heavily on impact.
You can think of it like a miniature shock absorber with the power to help save your spine.
Combined with the motorised front seat safety belts in the new S90 and V90 – which tighten automatically before an impact – it can reduce vertical load on the spine by up to 30 per cent in a run-off road situation. A prime example of Volvo Cars’ human-centric innovation, its size belies its effectiveness.
Everything we do is designed around people, so every innovation we make is designed to simplify and improve your life. We're especially proud of our advances in efficient power, connectivity and safety. We call our thinking in these areas: Drive-E, Sensus and IntelliSafe.