Hidden in plain sight

Hidden in plain sight

Expressions of timeless Japanese artisanship and design on the Nissan Ariya

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but some say striking design is timeless. Whether it's the balance of shape, application of color or even placement of a single line, the mastery of design elevates and creates an instant bond with the viewer.

The all-new Nissan Ariya electric vehicle took inspiration from Japanese artisans to change how vehicle design is experienced inside and out. The result is Nissan's new styling direction called "Timeless Japanese Futurism" which will define the company's products from here on.

Part of this new design concept is the integration of distinct patterns and symbols into key spots on the vehicle to convey the Ariya's Japanese heritage and influences. Among the more prominent of these is a stylized kumiko pattern, a traditional Japanese woodworking technique that arranges complex, intricate geometric shapes into captivating art. Kumiko-inspired patterns can be found on the Ariya's exterior front shield, as well as several places inside the cabin. The pattern's use of negative space made it a perfect design enhancement to house lighting and speakers without disrupting the room-like interior atmosphere.

Inside the Ariya a touch of nature can also be found – if you look for it. Sakura, also known as cherry blossoms, is one of the most popular flowers in Japan and represents a new beginning. Sakura can be found embossed inside the center console tray and mobile phone holder, subtly placed by the Ariya's designers and engineers who wanted this beloved symbol of Japan's heritage to be hiding in plain sight in Nissan's latest electric vehicle.

Click on an image below to view examples of kumiko and the hidden sakura in the Ariya.

The most prominent use of the Kumiko pattern is on the Ariya’s front shield, with the pattern just under the shield’s smooth surface.
Look closely inside the cabin and you will find touches of Japanese artisanship, some in more obvious places than others.
Inside the cabin, a Kumiko pattern was placed on the front window, next to the room mirror to add texture and intrigue.
A Kumiko pattern can also be found when opening a front door, placed on the side of the dashboard.
A Kumiko patten wraps around the Andon lighting under the dashboard. (Andon is a traditional Japanese paper lantern that emits a soft glow.)
A Kumiko pattern has also been placed on the inside of the front door where ambient lighting shines through to create a room-like atmosphere.
Even the small speaker covers employ a Kumiko pattern.
The speaker covers on the front door also use the Kumiko pattern.
Kumiko patterns appear on both sides of the speaker covers on the dashboard.
Open the tailgate, and you will find a Kumiko pattern just under the third brake light.
Symbols representing the beauty of Japan can be found inside the centre console and under the arm rest.
Open the lid of the centre console armrest, and you will see Sakura and floating petals embossed in the compartment.
Another Sakura icon is subtly placed at the bottom of the mobile phone holder in the lower part of the centre console.