Ove Arup has bought car-styling and product design company dral, forming dral-Arup. The new consultancy will continue to operate as dral has been doing, in the interior and exterior modelling of Bentley cars, Saab aircraft and motor cruisers. Arup's Advanced Technology Group has also worked in vehicle design for some time, particularly in the area of extreme loading conditions such as vehicle and rolling-stock impacts.
The new firm will open up new areas too. Part of Arup's motivation for the purchase was to bring expertise from the automotive industry into building design. This follows its recent announcement of a research programme called 'Rethinking Housing', where it was involved in forming a consortium to develop factories for modular housing. Arups believes that such schemes should begin with the design of the pre-fab house rather than the factory.