16 September 2022 · Mazda Australia News
Tailor-Made For Mazda CX-5
Versatile is by no means boring. With versatility comes adaptability, opportunity and the ability to really make something your own.
Take Mazda CX-5, for example; it can serve as a capable family hauler just as well as it can handle rough Aussie roads while towing a jet ski. It really is a car that can be anything to anyone, with an emphasis on driver enjoyment, whatever the task at hand.
In 2022, that versatility inspired Mazda to diversify its CX-5 range. Making a series of small design changes that amount to big differences in the grade line-up, the new Mazda CX-5 presents customers with more choice to find the SUV that suits their needs, lifestyle and taste.
To tell this story, we partnered with renowned Melbourne-based designer, Danielle Brustman to take the three unique personalities seen in our new Mazda CX-5 range – the luxurious Akera, adventurous Touring Active & sporty GT SP – and bring them to life via a simple timber dining chair.
"I found that talking about car design through the lens of furniture design was such an interesting yet unusual brief," Danielle explains. "The new Mazda CX-5 model has been updated; it retains its signature styling, but the detailing has been tailored to meet different lifestyle needs and aesthetic preferences. So, we've also done a similar thing here where we haven't remodelled the chairs but instead tailored them through design."
We've made three episodes to demonstrate her clever design choices that expertly mirrored the new Mazda CX-5 grades. Read more about each chair below.
What does luxury mean to you? To us, it's all about comfort and material quality. The idea for this timber chair upgrade was to artfully upholster it with soft white leather and add padding to every surface. However, it wasn't easy, as Danielle Brustman explains: "These timber chairs weren't designed to be upholstered, so we had to be resourceful by pulling the chair apart into lots of different pieces to upholster and pad each component before reconstructing it." The soft Nappa leather on the chair is also a standout feature of the seats in the CX-5 Akera, which takes comfort to the next level by adding 10-way power adjustment, heating and ventilation as standard.
Inspired by the natural world, the CX-5 Touring upgrade includes tasteful green interior accents and grey metallic alloy wheels. While this CX-5 reflects nature with its colour choices, the re-imagined chair interprets the natural world quite literally in that it physically reflects its surroundings. It shows the colours, textures and light around it, not by blending in but by sitting comfortably within any natural setting. Danielle also recalls behind-the-scenes considerations when photographing this imaginative chair: "Since the chair is curved and has mirrors on every surface, it reflects in ways you can't imagine or foresee. So, we didn't really know what it would do until we actually put it in the forest. We also contemplated if our own faces and equipment would be visible in the reflection."
The last of our CX-5 range is the GT SP, which sports black leather with contrasting red stitching and a glossy exterior. How did we do it with the timber chair? Danielle coated it with a red glossy 2-pack paint similar to the attractive Soul Red Crystal Metallic hue available on the GT SP and fitted it with LED lights – a nod to the LED headlamps that feature as standard on this model grade. The result shows how even a few clever tweaks can evoke feelings of something being more high-end, sporty and sleek. Out of the three, this chair was Danielle's favourite: "I really liked the sport model the most because it's so vibrant, which is accentuated by the lights attached. I just really love the depth of the highly reflective red gloss paint."
The Outcome: Three Personalities
This project wasn't about reinventing the chairs entirely. Instead, we aimed to give them all-new distinct personalities with aesthetic tweaks. We asked Danielle how she separated each look and feel, and she shared that the ideas came naturally to her since all three CX-5 options have their own unique character.
Reflecting, she added, "We've used three very different materials to cover each chair, so they inherently do a great job of setting themselves apart. One is covered in mirrored acrylic - a hard and rigid material, one is covered in Nappa leather and paddings – a natural fabric making it a lot softer and rounded, and the third is covered in paint and fitted with LED lights making it bold and bright."
Danielle's work is a true testament to the power of design in expressing ourselves.