Honda’s new interior design philosophy has an unusual name, but a good purpose

Honda cars, for the longest time, have had dashboards that can only be described as “Japanese”. You see this in all of their models, from the Jazz to the CR-V, where a busy centre column on the dashboard houses pretty much all the controls.

But on the future Honda models, the Japanese carmaker is looking to break out from its shell with a more minimalist “European-esque” design for its interior, and has even given it a name – “Simplicity and Something“. Yes, really.

The name makes it sound like Honda might have forgotten the second part of its new philosophy, but it basically means to keep the interior as simple as possible, while adding a little pizazz or something unique. Honda says that the latter refers to the “personality and character of the design”, and is expressed through design details such as the knurling on a knob.

The “Simplicity” part meanwhile is pretty straightforward. Essentially, this means making all controls as straightforward as possible and reducing visual clutter, such as reducing the size of the A-pillars, lowering the cowl, minimising the space needed for control surfaces, and even simplifying the displays and menu structure of the software.

Honda says this new design philosophy renews its focus on the brand’s classic human-centric “Man Maximum/Machine Minimum” approach, and the vehicle should just “fade away” while driving, giving you a clearer view of the road and neighbouring environment – all while maximising cabin space.

“Simplicity in design requires not only a strong philosophy, but a discipline toward the user experience,” said Honda Interior Design US Creative Lead, Johnathan Norman. “We’ve heard from designers working for other brands who say they were inspired by the simple, human-centered design of old Hondas. Well, so are we!” 

The company did not say which new model will be the first to get the new interior design philosophy, but we’re already seeing hints of the new horizontally-focused dashboard on the latest Honda products, such as the all-new Honda Accord.

And if Honda’s concept photos of the upcoming Honda Civic is anything to go by, we’re also definitely going to be seeing the new design philosophy being applied on the new C-segment sedan.


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