Inside Brainiac: FR-S/BRZ Sketch Revisions

As we continue to make progress on the Brainiac design for the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ dashboards we’ve been creating some revised sketches to help us visualize different options.  These sketches also give us an opportunity to share an insider’s perspective of the process.

We’ve been very lucky to have a lot of great feedback through forums and our social media accounts which have really helped guide our design decisions.  Part of the current revisions have included experimenting with a hazard switch location.  That means trying to place the switch in multiple locations and checking out which one might look the best.  Let’s just say some look great, and some look not so great.  But that’s part of the process, trying different designs and seeing which ones work well.

We started off by making some modifications to the previous REV 1.5 by adding more of our Brainiac signature “V” surround for the 10.1″ screen.  This gives a visual appearance of a more integrated display.


From there it was time to start and play around with hazard light positions as well as ways to provide a nice transition between our new Brainiac trim and the end of the trim panel that sweeps across the top of the passenger side of the dashboard.



We looked at an option of trying to provide a virtual “cap” for the end of the passenger trim piece.  While the cap looked fairly nice it provided a challenge for the owner to try and find some way of matching the finish of the passenger trim piece with Brainiac’s trim.  It also made it difficult to find room for a top hazard button.  At this point we figured out that a top mounted hazard switch really threw off the balance of the dashboard.


Our desire is to maintain more of a vertical design aesthetic providing distinct end points of the trim and find a way to mount the hazard switch in the lower portion of the dashboard.  Designing ridges on both ends of the top trim for REV 2.0 created a distinctive line between the vertical Brainiac trim and the previous horizontal passenger trim design.

This distinct vertical stack approach really helps your eye stay in the center of the dashboard and provides a very symmetrical feel.


From there it still felt like there was something “off” about the weight distribution. The top of the dashboard still felt “heavy” and continued to play into the previous horizontal design lines.  We decided to make a change where we would continue the angled vertical lines all the way from the bottom of the display to the top of the trim.  This created a much better feel for weighting and proportions.


Overall we believe REV 2.1 will be the design direction we take for the FR-S/BRZ as we start to move more towards the 3D modeling of the plastics.  Of course this still leaves large design questions around button placement and the hazard switch location.  As you can see from the sketches, the switch positioned in the middle creates a nice visual line.  But we have the challenge of designing a solution for both those who have a push-to-start button and those that don’t.

We’ve had conversations in forums around the possibility of placing the hazard switch in the current AUX-in location, but we’re not quite sure about how well it will fit with available clearances.  We may have to re-design a new lower section that will work for both vehicles with a “pocket” or a push-to-start configuration.  Who knows we might even provide a bit more room for buttons below the screen as part of the lower pocket design.

So stay tuned for updates and also please continue to provide your feedback 🙂

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