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car design thread

Discussion in 'Creative Arts' started by jm2, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. Tcar

    Tcar F1 Rookie

    Ditto the 914 here. when it came out.
    'Sticker' of about $3500 as I recall, Hagestad had one. Signal Orange 1.7. Think it went for $5k or so.
    It worked, their showroom was packed.
     
  2. Tenney

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  3. jm2

    jm2 F1 World Champ
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    Great interview, thanks for posting.
    A legend.
     
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  4. jm2

    jm2 F1 World Champ
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  5. ModernLou

    ModernLou Karting

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  6. jm2

    jm2 F1 World Champ
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    How have automotive designs responded to drastic shifts in society and culture in previous years? We take a timely look back

    While an increasingly adversarial political climate, murmurs of recession and ever-mounting fears for our natural environment didn’t paint the rosiest of outlooks as we approached the third decade of the 21st century, the sudden onslaught of an invisible, insidious foe has turned wearying slog into waking nightmare for much of the globe.

    In such testing and traumatic times, it’s perhaps tempting to dismiss discussion of the finer points of automotive design as little more than an exercise in self-indulgent futility or escapism. However, notwithstanding the possibility that a healthy dollop of the latter may be all that remains between many of us and insanity’s slippery slope, it’s interesting (and perhaps heartening) to note that the changing face of car design through difficult times is in fact a prime example of humanity’s remarkable adaptability and resilience – not to mention our collective mood.

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    1929 Deusenberg Model J

    Many periods in modern history have come to be defined just as much by their automotive output as by their music, fashion or art. Take the ‘roaring twenties’ for example (a decade invoked by Rolls-Royce’s latest collector special): a century on, what could be more iconic of a decade of unprecedented wealth, opulence and indeed decadence than the Duesenberg Model J?

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    1932 Bugatti Type 41 Royale

    Though nothing less than awe-inspiring in its depth of engineering, aesthetic majesty and sheer size, with hindsight it’s difficult not to view the ‘Duesy’, along with the Bugatti Royale, et al., as a somewhat chilling reminder of a society so intoxicated with its own (ultimately fleeting) success that it failed to anticipate or prepare for the inevitable darkening of skies ahead (sound familiar?).

    By contrast, the tone taken by the preeminent cars of the post-depression 1930s is strikingly different. The lower, more streamlined shapes of Citroën’s Traction Avant, Cord’s 810/812, Chrysler’s Airflow and Tatra’s streamliners, were perhaps indicative of a humbler, more cerebral approach to car design better suited to a world in a sombre, reflective mood.

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    Instead of attempting to impress with their extravagant size, cost and overbearing presence, these depression-era vehicles instead plumped for technological advancement as the bedrock of their appeal, with features such as front-wheel drive, monocoque construction and sleek shapes which worked in harmony with the laws of physics, rather than trying to beat them into submission as their forebears had done.

    The aftermath of the Second World War brought even greater changes, as the now ubiquitous ‘ponton’ or ‘pontoon’ full-width styling template rapidly found favour.

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    1947 Cisitalia 202 by Pininfarina

    Pioneered by Pininfarina’s Cistalia 202 and the Kaiser/Fraser sedan of 1946, such a bold step-change was surely befitting of a world perhaps keener than ever to embrace change, sweep away old orders and traditions and say ‘never again’ to the horrors of a then-recent past. Just as everything from empires to gender roles were reshaped in the post-war period, the new shape of ‘the car’ cast aside the last remnants of horse drawn carriages to truly become its own beast in a world keener than ever to embrace it.

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    The difference between the ’30s Citroën Traction-Avant and ’50s DS that replaced it507 remains staggering

    Perhaps more than any other artefact, the car encapsulated the values, hopes and dreams of the new world: personal freedom, technological progress, social mobility and aspiration. As rationing faded away in the 1950s the relatively understated and austere Morris Minors and Ford Consuls of the immediate post-war era gave way to outlandish, space-inspired, fins ‘n’ chrome creations in a now rampant USA, while the continued experimentation of European manufacturers resulted in such seductive forms as the Mercedes-Benz Gullwing and BMW 507, alongside radical and innovative disruptors such as the Citroën DS, Fiat Nuova Cinquecento and BMC Mini.

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    But though it continued to blossom well into the 1960s, like all good things, the car’s honeymoon period couldn’t last forever. As the 1970s rolled around, oil shortages, US military humiliation in Vietnam and growing racial and class tensions in countries such as Britain and the United States dealt a dizzying blow to the collective confidence of the West – something which unsurprisingly was reflected in the utilitarian, prosaic, even downright timid, automotive creations of the era (Italian wedge concepts aside).

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    Ford Mustang II

    Many a macho muscle car found itself castrated – Ford’s 1973 Mustang II for instance, with its narrow track, gawky, upright body-shell and clumsy overhangs couldn’t have been further removed from the rugged, effortless cool of its 1960s predecessor. Pretty sports cars (Porsche 911, Alfa Romeo Spider, MGB) succumbed to ugly black plastic bumpers in the name of safety. Even the fashionable colours of the time, autumnal shades of brown, orange and beige, were distinctly downbeat.

    Still, whilst many floundered, Italian masters Giugiaro and Gandini proved that more rational, straight-edged forms need not be unappealing, giving the world such clean-cut classics as the VW Golf, Lotus Esprit, Lamborghini Countach, BMW E12, Fiat Panda and Citroën BX, with the boxy, wedgy ‘folded-paper’ style – espoused by Giugiaro in particular – eventually coming to dominate both the 1970s and ‘80s.

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    Nevertheless, as the 1980s drew to a close, new storm clouds were gathering, for as the old saying goes, familiarity breeds contempt. True to form, the continued proliferation of the car throughout the (mostly) prosperous post-war decades had seen it accumulate a hefty rap-sheet of crimes against both humanity and the environment – and as the stock market crashed on Black Monday in 1987, the mood for car manufacturers began to sour.

    Just as they had in the 1930s, engineers responded with a raft of new innovations; airbags, ABS and standardised crash testing (Euro NCAP) to name but a few. Not to be outdone and keen to ensure this more caring approach was communicated effectively, designers ushered in the soft, organic forms of ‘bio-design’ which would distinguish the cleaner, more responsible, fully house-trained cars of the 1990s from their uncouth ancestors.

    Thankfully, the 1990s proved an infinitely more prosperous and upbeat decade than the 1930s, with the effective conclusion of the Cold War in 1991, dawning of the Information Age and rapid economic recovery combining to create a sense of light-hearted optimism which prompted designers to make hay whilst the sun shone. From Renault Twingo to Fiat Coupé, Ford Ka to Smart City Coupé, Toyota RAV4 to Volkswagen New Beetle, the 1990s was the period car design let its hair down.

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    What’s more, the psychological ‘blank slate’ offered by the dawning of a new millennium seemed to energise designers in the quest for next new thing, with what seemed like innovation after innovation hitting in the latter part of the decade – Ford’s radical ‘New Edge’ design language, the ultra-versatile packaging of Mercedes’ 1997 A-Class and the brightly-patterned interchangeable plastic patterns of the aforementioned Smart to name but a few.

    Alas, as the nineties’ playful optimism and sunny outlook was swept away in the rubble of New York’s Twin Towers, car design began to lose its edge. Where once there had been razor-sharp bravery (Focus), icy-cool chic (TT) and otherworldly wonder (Multipla), by the mid-noughties there remained only bloated blandness.

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    Furthermore, even the variety of genres on offer began to suffer, as coupés, roadsters, MPVs, even mainstream hatches and saloons (sedans) ceded ground to all-consuming SUV trend. That post-9/11 paranoia should have given rise to such vehicles is perhaps not surprising; their imposing facades, ‘commanding’ seating positions and (in some cases) quasi-military overtones were perhaps well-suited to a world increasingly watching its own back.

    Even so, design innovation and inspiration continued to brighten the malaise of the 2010s, with BMW’s visionary i3 and i8, Mazda’s latest back-to-basics MX-5, Honda’s delightful E and Porsche’s forward-looking Taycan being just some of those to have brought a little sunshine to a decidedly overcast decade.

    But how exactly is any of this relevant today?

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    Well perhaps, as a post-credit-crunch, post-Brexit, post-Trump world finds itself in the eye of a new storm, one in which the winds of change seem to be to howling perhaps more loudly than ever, maybe, just maybe, us creative types can look to the past for inspiration.

    Though it’s clearly far too early to begin counting the true cost of COVID-19, let alone imagining how a post-pandemic world may look or feel, hindsight teaches us that it’s often when faced with what seem like overwhelming odds that designers and creatives – as indeed humanity itself – are most wont to truly excel.

    It’s that thought which can perhaps provide a modicum of comfort in even the darkest of times. For while design may not always be able to cure the sick or rebuild shattered lives, it can, does, and will no-doubt continue to illustrate humanity’s astounding ability to overcome adversity, shape our surroundings and work towards a better world in the long term – and that’s something we should all aspire to, now more than ever.


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  7. energy88

    energy88 F1 World Champ
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  8. jm2

    jm2 F1 World Champ
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  9. jm2

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    Designing the 'new' Mini
     
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  10. jm2

    jm2 F1 World Champ
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    DESIGNERS
    How to do car design remotely – Hyundai and Genesis
    By Michael Nash09 April 2020

    The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way in which millions of people around the world are living and working. The automotive industry is scrambling to adapt, and while some areas such as manufacturing have come to a halt, the latest digital tools could theoretically allow car designers to keep going.

    In this series of short articles, Car Design News talks to the world’s leading designers about virtual car design, the challenges and the possibilities.

    SangYup Lee, head of Genesis and Hyundai Global Design Center and Simon Loasby, head of Hyundai Styling Group at Hyundai Design Center in Korea, describe how their teams are currently working.

    The Hyundai design process is driven by data, so it can almost all be done remotely. The most crucial factor is that all hardware and licenses are de-centralised, which means having local data on encrypted hard drives with VPN connections between all devices in the network. If the Cloud service is fast enough and secure then we don’t need localised data. This is an important time for us to directly validate the efficiency and effectiveness of Data Driver Design (DDD), which we’ve been pursuing as our vision, to see how much cost and time can be saved in the real world.

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    We were quite well prepared to take on the challenge of working remotely. We have been holding multi-user wireless immersive virtual reality presentations and reviews since 2017. These are now part of our standard working and presentation process. They are fast, allow for immediate ‘3D’ feedback, enable the review of many more alternative solutions and typologies, and of course they save costs and time associated with physical model manufacturing.

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    As part of this we have remote location virtual reality presentations so our colleagues are walking around the virtual world interacting with us, reviewing together, even though we are continents apart. We are designing in the most efficient way without travelling and with the time differences and space contraints.

    There are, however, some challenges. The preparation and completion of large scale, 1:1 physical models, as well as milling and hand work, are still essential parts of the process which cannot be completed at home. Fortunately, having a global network of studios – 11 in total across Hyundai and Genesis – means we are able to undertake physical modeling in the studios in areas that are “past the problem”.

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    Despite all the successful digital work, 1:1 modeling remains crucial for Hyundai and Genesis

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    So currently our studios in Korea and China are absorbing the physical modeling workload, but the data for those models is being prepared around the world and around the clock. We have teams working on data sets that are passed from one studio to another at the end of each day.

    Communication is absolutely key. We must ensure face-to-face contact is now done digitally, which is easy with today’s technology. If I were to give a tip for design teams that are attempting to work remotely, I would suggest that they focus on communication. Also, they need to find a way to review 1:1 physical properties (clay and cubing models). Without this they will undoubtedly miss potential improvements.

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  11. NbyNW

    NbyNW F1 Rookie
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    Beautiful, thanks for posting. Amazing to watch him sketch it out - even his signature. Who is he? As he said, design is important. Design matters.
    I had a 2004 then I think a 2007. The 2007 I wish I still had. Dark silver with a redwood (deep red) interior. Ordered to my specs like a lot of them. Beautiful to look at and a blast to drive. Loved the supercharger whine in the 04.
    The more recent versions have lost their way in my opinion.
     
  12. jm2

    jm2 F1 World Champ
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    He was also responsible for the 430 Ferrari.
    Google his name and it will show his portfolio of cars he's done
     
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  13. NbyNW

    NbyNW F1 Rookie
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    Incredible vision. Incredible cars.
     
  14. jm2

    jm2 F1 World Champ
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    I don't believe I've posted this 'relic' before, but it's an interesting look back 67 years ago at automotive design. Styling in their terms.
    Scary thing is some of those young guys wound up being my bosses many years later.
     
  15. Tenney

    Tenney F1 Rookie
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  16. jm2

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    MAUER: “HOW TO DESIGN A PORSCHE 911”
    Home/EXTRA/MAUER: “HOW TO DESIGN A PORSCHE 911”



    • Michael Mauer is never without a notebook because even during meetings he always draws and scribbles. “I drive my wife crazy,” admits the 58-year-old designer. “Even at breakfast I do sketches, and they’re almost always cars. I can’t help it.” It may sound cliché, but Porsche’s head of design has been living and breathing design since 2004. During this period of isolation, his miniature sketches are accumulating faster than ever before and he has decided to let fans know what steps they need to take to correctly design an icon of world motoring: the Porsche 911.


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      “One of the fundamental things to think about when drawing cars is to be able to go beyond their three-dimensionality. Sometimes you also have to add more emphasis. Exaggerate. Think of a caricature: you can tell right away that it’s someone if your nose has been enlarged too much,” says Mauer. “Some designers start by drawing both wheels, others from the front wheel and then continue to draw the front of the car and only add the second wheel afterwards. I always start with both wheels because one of the most difficult challenges is to define the wheelbase and proportions. Following this method I sometimes realise that the rear wheel is in the wrong position, so I just gate it and start again”.


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      Once the wheels are in position, the next step is to put the car on the ground by drawing the line between the wheels. “Now you can start to define the outline. The designers and engineers talk about the “zero Y section”, the outline. It’s very iconic in the case of the 911. Gradually we begin to add detail, step by step. The next step is the realization of what is called DLO (Daylight Opening): the design of the glass surfaces”.


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      The third step involves the addition of numerous details such as handles, mirrors and some lines of variable thickness to add or remove emphasis to the vehicle. If the first five sketches were in fact just lines, now is the time to add shadows and contrasts. “The shoulder is still completely colourless because we want to give the impression that it is a reflection of light. The next step is one of the funniest: thanks to the colour everything seems to come together. If you work with Photoshop it’s like adding another layer. The blue colour on the top of the car reflects the sky, while below the waistline, where it is darker, it reflects the floor. This creates the impression that the car is placed on the ground”.


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      When working on paper, in a single dimension, you need to take other measures, always using colours and shades to create depth and a three-dimensional appearance. To get closer to reality we can use a photo as an aid. We observe every detail: what you see through the glass, what reflections there are on the bodywork. Every detail is useful to study how the shadow appears on the surfaces. To bring out some parts where it reflects the light we use the white colour and make other smaller parts shine like lights or brake calipers. But the most important advice is this: don’t be afraid to make mistakes, only with practice can you achieve a satisfactory result”.
     
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  17. jm2

    jm2 F1 World Champ
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  18. NeuroBeaker

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    I actually bought a 2004 MINI (R50), which was the first and only brand new car I've ever ordered for a new build. Interesting that Frank says he wanted to design a car that people would enjoy washing by hand and he succeeded! The MINI was the only car I've ever owned that I actually enjoyed hand washing - every other car I've had, without exception, was a chore to wash. I don't usually enjoy washing cars.

    The only other car I've hand washed and enjoyed was my Dad's Porsche 993. I think it's the soft curvaceous lines rather than sharp angles that make these cars nice to run a sponge over.

    All the best,
    Andrew.
     
  19. jm2

    jm2 F1 World Champ
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    While attending design school, one of our professors told us how washing a car by hand lets one discover the true nuances in surface development and overall design.
    He was right. It’s fun discovering those nuances when hand washing your car.
    Later on as a professional, we labored to create beautiful surfaces that one would discover by washing or waxing by hand.
     
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  20. Jeff Kennedy

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    Sure sounds like Mac.
     
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  21. jm2

    jm2 F1 World Champ
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    Yup.
    Although I also heard this at GM Design, so not really sure where it originated.
    Doesn't matter I guess. It's true.
     
  22. jm2

    jm2 F1 World Champ
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  23. Jeff Kennedy

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    Bangle butts and overdone flame surfacing is nothing when put up against obnoxious new nose language. Unfortunately someone (singular or plural) thinks this is good since they approved it.
     
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  24. Qvb

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    When the hood surfaces rise up to meet the grill, I am out!
     
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  25. energy88

    energy88 F1 World Champ
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