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Hyundai Transys has shown a future mobility seat concept with sustainable leather and innovative materials under the theme ‘Shift to Regenerative Mobility’ at Lineapelle 2022.

The global auto parts manufacturer and Hyundai Motor Group affiliate says the ‘Seoul to Milan’ colour concept represents the collaboration between Korea and Italy to achieve the mutual goal of fostering a sustainable future

The company also maintains that the seat concept embodies Hyundai Transys’ design and development capabilities and commitment to minimizing waste and upcycling.

At the show, Hyundai Transys is exhibiting its colour-material-finish (CMF) concept seat in the fair’s innovation section under the theme ‘Shift to Regenerative Mobility’.

The company developed new sustainable leather and other regenerative materials in partnership with Italian and Korean manufacturers to create an innovative seat concept from tanning waste. Hyundai Transys selected the leather fair to showcase the concept in line with the company’s push for a sustainable future.

The concept seat embodies their shared value of sustainability through its use of regenerative materials, and visualizes that value transcending time and space with a design concept called ‘Seoul to Milan.’ The concept links the cities through colours and patterns, particularly the two main hues, dubbed ‘Seoul Grey’ for the Korean capital’s metropolitan cityscape and granite peaks, and ‘Milano Brown’ for the Italian city’s classical buildings and legendary tanneries. In addition, Seoul’s city lights are translated as pixels while Milan’s towering gothic Duomo cathedral is conveyed as stripes.

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Tanned leathers are used in the seat sections where durability is required, and woven leathers are used in the seatback bolsters, giving a different textural twist while minimizing leather waste from cutting. Leather scraps were ground to powder and regenerated into yarn, which was later combined with yarn made from recycled PET bottles to create a unique regenerated fabric for the floor area.

Along with these innovative materials, Hyundai Transys used upcycled felt fabric and 3D printing to structure the headrest out of regenerated aluminum powder to give the model a cohesive look while demonstrating sustainable applications of such materials. The seat frame model is also an upcycled product from 2018, brought back to life for this project to provide a sustainable approach inside-out.

“When autonomous driving mobility spaces become everyday places in our lives, material research and development from the eco-friendly perspective shown in this concept seat will become more important for the future of mobility,” said Sung-kyung Hong, Design Team Lader at Hyundai Transys.

The automotive industry is one of the biggest leather users, due to the material’s luxuriousness and durability. However, sustainability and ethical issues have made leather challenging to use in recent years. The new approach to leather regeneration shown through Hyundai Transys’ future mobility seat concept sets a meaningful milestone for the future direction of sustainable materials.