This is how Renault's design boss Laurens Van Den Acker explains the mission of the R-Space MPV concept. The third model in the company's circle of life series of concepts, the R-Space explores the car as family vehicle. Exterior designer Fabrice Pouille says that the brief was to design a monospace vehicle incorporating the ingredients of the Dezir sports car concept, to give it "a lot of expression."

"There's a lot of softness in the volumes and graphics," he says, a key theme of the exterior being a flowing "liquidity", which can be seen in the swoopy shapes in the side windows.

The interior, accessed via back doors that are rear hinged, incorporates Van Den Acker's views on how the family unit has changed: "20 or 30 years ago it was very patriarchal, with dad driving the family estate. Then came the monospace (Renault's ground-breaking Espace) and social democratisation - dad could take the kids to school.

Today, the family is a collection of individuals. The parents still love each other,' he says, 'and have their own space in the front, and the kids do what they want in the back." The symbols of this back seat freedom are the cuboid multi-coloured cushions allowing kids to modify their space.

The aim, says Van Den Acker, "is to reinvent the relevance of the family car, and make it sexier." Given Renault's pioneering Espace and Scenic MPVs, van den Acker believes the company should be re-examining the role of the minivan.

While a back seat made of cubed cushions won't see production - a shame - the curvceous shapes, and the use of the door shut lines as styling flourishes, could well see production in tomorrow's Renault MPVs.