2021.09.17 Kia

Capturing Kia's vision: EV6 Unplugged Ground Seongsu

Kia opened ‘EV6 Unplugged Ground Seongsu’, a complex cultural space in Seongsu-dong, Seongdong-gu, Seoul. The automaker wants to deliver a special message to the space by introducing their brand's first dedicated electric vehicle, the EV6.

Seongsu-dong, which used to be an industrial neighborhood, has emerged as the hippest place most visited by young people in Seoul in recent years. Bakeries and cafes, as well as shops full of interior and fashion items, each boast unique characteristics. It is sometimes called the Brooklyn of Korea because there are many places that have been remodeled in a trendy way to fit the purpose of the existing building while maintaining the exterior of the existing building. In Seongsu-dong, Kia opened ‘EV6 Unplugged Ground Seongsu, a brand complex cultural space. The automaker wants to deliver a special message to the space by introducing their brand's first dedicated electric vehicle, the EV6. Here are the details of Kia's brand complex cultural space in Seongsu-dong, one of the most popular places in Seoul.

EV6 Unplugged Ground Seongsu: Kia's Future in a Historical Space

The unplugged ground is not just a space to showcase new cars, but a place where visitors can experience various things

The Unplugged Ground is a space where you can experience the EV6 firsthand, and it was built in a textile factory that has been built for over 60 years. Although Seongsu-dong itself has many special features, the exterior of the unplugged ground, in particular, catches people's attention - the irony and uniqueness created by the attractive red brick building wall that has endured a long time and the sleek white exterior wall engraved with the Kia logo.

Kia expresses its will for sustainable growth by breathing new meaning and vitality into the old space that was once used as a textile factory. “The textile factory retains the traces of the past, but it met with Kia and embraced the innovative technology of the future. It also laid out Kia's vision for sustainability, the value of electric vehicles - not internal combustion engines. The past, which is the building of the textile factory, and the present, which is Kia, are meeting to show the future vision and EV6, an innovative result of electrification technology,” explained Seulgi Lee, PM/senior manager in charge of the Unplugged Ground Project. The harmony of the textile factory building, Seongsu-dong, and EV6 creates a space where the past, present, and future coexist, and through this, Kia presents its blueprint for becoming an electrified brand.

The automaker has changed its name, logo, and slogan, announcing its will that it would transform into a future mobility company. This is the reason why Kia chose Seongsu-dong for its Unplugged Ground. “We thought choosing a neighborhood that has an ever-changing atmosphere with a hint of history would be more suitable for our Unplugged Ground, than a newborn area. This is because the purpose of the space was to convey Kia’s message about a new life - recycling, sustainability, future mobility, and electric vehicles. It is quite ironic to introduce a new lifestyle through electric vehicle technology in an old, historical place, but we thought such a place would better convey the characteristics of the EV6,” explained senior manager Seulgi Lee.

EV6 Garden, a relaxing place with a white deck and fresh plants

The first place that greets visitors at the Unplugged Grounds is the EV6 Garden

Passing through the red bricks of the textile factory, the EV6 Garden, with its white deck and green trees in harmony, welcomes visitors. The idyllic atmosphere that spreads between the factories and the buildings catches your footsteps. It serves as a relaxing space so that anyone visiting Unplugged Ground can relax in the busy city center. The main theme color of the building, including the perforated panels, is white - to create a bright and friendly atmosphere. At the same time, the terrazzo flooring, which features perennial plants and flowers all over the place, and colorful stains, provides a bright and nature-friendly sentiment. It indeed refreshes the mood before the visitors experience the vehicles.

Kia Begins with EV6: The Hello EV6 Zone

The Hello EV6 Zone offers a whole new audiovisual experience with two EV6s and a large media art exhibition

When you enter the building through the refreshing EV6 garden, a completely different atmosphere from the outside unfolds. High ceilings and dark spaces instantly invite visitors into another world. Unlike the bright exterior, the interior features a simple composition and lighting that helps you focus on the exhibition. In particular, the fiber yarn that runs from the back of the EV6 through the ceiling to the entire left wall stands out. This is a media art exhibition made with 475 bundles of waste plastic fiber yarns used in the actual EV6, and this expresses Kia's future vision and its craving for sustainability. The artwork is designed to convey Kia's goal and will to practice eco-friendliness. “We were thinking about how customers could touch and see the eco-friendly materials used in the EV6, and we decided to plan a large art exhibition using waste plastic fibers that were once used to make vehicles. While looking for a space to showcase all this, we found an old textile factory building. People could call it a happy coincidence, but we kept having meetings inside the factory for more brilliant plans," said Senior Manager Seulgi Lee as she revealed the story behind the work.

The textile yarn exhibition under the high ceiling with colorful lighting creates a unique atmosphere

The LED lights that glow in different colors within 475 bundles of connected threads are made of the materials used in the EV6. Like textile yarn, the material used in electric vehicles was used to convey the message of sustainable growth that Kia aims for. To maximize this, the automaker matched the color of the lighting with the video transmitted through the media wall. Although they use different media, they are produced as one exhibition. In the large media wall, the direction and design philosophy of Kia, which has changed in line with the electric vehicle era, is shown through video. “Kia's brand message is Movement that inspirations. Based on this, Kia's new design philosophy and the source of inspiration for designers was defined as Opposite United - a creative fusion of opposing concepts, and the five video exhibitions show the five key elements - EV6 Space Seongsu, the 475 exhibitions for sustainability, Bold for Nature, and Tension for Serenity, are available for now.

EV6 Life Zone: colorful changes with EV6

The EV6 Life Zone was designed to change the perception of electric vehicles, using the charm of EV6

The EV6 Life Zone is a space where you can experience the marketability of the EV6 more clearly. In fact, it works as the core space of the Unplugged Ground, where you can feel the convenience and richness of everyday changes through the EV6. The lower ceiling and uniformly installed lighting compared to the Hello EV6 Zone create a certain amount of tension, which makes the visitors focus on the exhibition. Here, visitors can not only use the actual charging device (plug) but also enjoy the V2L experience with driving performance. For example, the 800V super-fast charger can go as far as 100 kilometers after charging for only 5 minutes - as much time needed for coffee to drip, allowing 475km-long range on a single charge so that it can go anywhere in the country. The interactive wall shows us that the battery can power two standing-type air conditioners or seventy 55-inch TVs at the same time.

EV6 design sketches and design philosophy videos are displayed even at the brief moment of crossing from the Hello EV6 Zone to the EV6 Life Zone

The name Unplugged Ground is derived from such performance of the EV6. The EV6 is designed as a dedicated platform for electric vehicles, so it can charge faster, go further, and utilize electrical power more easily. This means that charging is much easier than we think. With this in mind, the automaker used the term ‘Unplugged’, meaning being freed from chargers, in the 'Ground' where you can escape from the pressure of having to do anything - hence Unplugged Ground.

In the EV6 Life Zone, you can experience the robust performance of electric vehicles that might change your daily life. The driving performance that takes only 3.5 seconds (based on the GT model) to reach 100 km/h from a standstill can be experienced indirectly by turning the shift dial and stepping on the pedal inside the EV6. In order to intuitively convey the unique experience and the dynamics of the EV6, Kia made the windshield as a gaming monitor so that the visitor sitting on the driver’s seat can feel like getting sucked into a different dimension. In an instant, 3.5 seconds is displayed in the center of the screen, and when the visitor floors the accelerator once again, the vehicle reaches its top speed. Kia expects that all these experiences will be an opportunity to change the perception of electric vehicles from charging, discharging, usability, to performance.

EV6 Inside Zone Proves Sustainability of EV6

Kia and the upcycling brand RE;CODE showcase an EV6-shaped model that expresses its commitment to sustainability

The EV6 Inside Zone was filled with exhibits using the EV6 exclusive platform ‘E-GMP (Electric-Global Modular Platform)’, which is the basis of EV6 technology. Four wheels, an E-GMP platform, and hundreds of circular ornaments connected to the ceiling form the EV6 shape. Among them, the circular ornaments were made with parts and subsidiary materials left after EV6 production. In other words, E-GMP, which supports the performance, safety, and spatiality of electric vehicles, represents Kia's electrification technology, and the hundreds of ornaments signify efforts for sustainable growth such as the use of eco-friendly materials and utilization of resources. This is an exhibition to convey the innovative message that it can live together with nature as well as the local community.

A vivid, life-size EV6 makes it easier for you to pick your choices

In the EV6 Inside Zone, visitors can choose desired specifications through a large 3D configurator showing an actual size, and even experience virtual driving. Customers have so many choices - trim, exterior color, detailed specifications, and other options. They also get to examine the interior and exterior of the EV6 in detail. In addition, there are A to Z Smart Tables that will answer all your questions about electric vehicles such as management, charging services, power usage, and safety. In addition, in each room of the unplugged ground, a docent explains the exhibition and helps all experiences related to EV6, including test drives. Reservation is required for the exhibition and test drive program (http://ev6unpluggedground.kia.com/en/main), following the Covid-19 quarantine rules. Meanwhile, Kia opened another complex cultural space in Uiwang-si, specially designed for family visitors considering the neighborhood (1039, Hakui-dong, Uiwang-si, Gyeonggi-do).

Unplugged Ground Seongsu started the exhibition on 27th last month and will close in July 2022

The Unplugged Ground is not just a place to look at new cars, but a place to learn about Kia's electrification plans and future directions through electric vehicles - and EV6 is at the heart of all this. "The New Normal started with climate change and has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic - a completely different life awaits us. One of the visitors of the Unplugged Ground has said he thinks his car would be the last internal combustion engine he will ever own in his life. For those who are curious about electric vehicles, and those who just think it's way too soon, please come to the Unplugged Ground and experience it for yourself,” Seulgi Lee added. Sooner or later, EV6 will expand Kia's vision.

HMG Journal Operation Team


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