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car design thread

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

  1. NeuroBeaker

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    Just to clarify... are you implying you'll be feeling less than perfectly healthy from exposure to that interior or that you will be exuding legendary coolness via some form of emulation in your own car's interior?

    All the best,
    Andrew.
     
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  3. Qvb

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    Let's just say, as I am trying to not be too negative, other than the Viper post, the posts today have not been my favorite. :(
     
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  4. jm2

    jm2 F1 World Champ
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    #12003 jm2, May 4, 2021
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
    Great video. Nice history lesson.
    I've got Mr. Sen's Gandini book, one of my all time favorite books.
    I didn’t agree about the Marzal. The Stratos Zero is still KING. :cool:
     
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  5. Qvb

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    Marzal is not my favorite, not top ten, but to each their own! Still cool and interesting!
     
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  6. jm2

    jm2 F1 World Champ
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    I really appreciate listening to designers that know the history, and these guys do!
     
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  8. anunakki

    anunakki Five Time F1 World Champ
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    One of the signs of a bad designer, IMO, is overwrought details and textures. I see it all the time in my industry. Makes me want to vomit but...it SELLS.
     
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  9. 330 4HL

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    Should be charged with DUI - designed under the influence...
     
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  10. jm2

    jm2 F1 World Champ
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    Major news at Jaguar Design. Sounds like ‘musical chairs’
    From Autocar


    Jaguar design boss Julian Thomson to leave firm this month
    After two decades working on styling for Jaguar and Land Rover, the Brit is taking up a position elsewhere


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    NEWS
    by Felix Page

    5 May 2021
    Jaguar design director Julian Thomson will leave the British firm at the end of the month after less than two years in the role.

    The reasons for the departure are unclear, but a Jaguar statement said he will explore other exciting opportunities outside of Jaguar Land Rover. Reports online suggest that he could be headed to India to work for nascent EV maker Ola Electric.


    Thomson has been at Jaguar for more than 21 years, following 12 years at Lotus - where he penned the original Elise - and a brief spell in Germany for Volkswagen working on production and concept vehicles.

    During a two-year stint as advanced design director at Land Rover, he was involved in the design of the radical LRX concept, which would go on to become one of the company's most important models: the Range Rover Evoque.

    He was also a member of the team that created the final designs for Jaguar models including the XE, XF and F-Type, and he was appointed design director in 2019 when predecessor Ian Callum departed to pursue other avenues.

    Upon hearing the news, Callum tweeted: "So sad and disappointed to see Julian Thomson leave Jaguar Design. Especially at a time when Jaguar needs directors of such a high calibre, leadership skills and talent. I wish Julian the very best for whatever he does next. He will be sorely missed."

    JLR CEO Thierry Bolloré said: “Julian has always endeavoured to be a champion of creativity, diversity and building a fair and positive work culture. I would like to thank Julian for his great work, leadership, dedication and significant contribution and wish him every success in the future.”
     
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  11. jm2

    jm2 F1 World Champ
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    Thoughts on design from Mr. Filippini
    The Empire of Signs

    https://www-design--fieldtrip-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.design-fieldtrip.com/read/fabio-filippini-pininfarina-renault-designer-sketching-thoughts-column-graphics-on-cars?format=amp
    The Empire of Signs is an essay by Roland Barthes from 1970, about the great semiologist’s attempts at penetrating Japanese culture through the ‘signs’ present in its writing and everyday life aspects. Apart from Barthes, anyone who has ever experienced a stroll through Tokyo’s Shibuya or Shinjuku neighbourhoods has probably been overwhelmed by the overflowing and ubiquitous signs and messages, which remain incomprehensible to the western traveler. You might remember Bill Murray being lost in translation - that’s what it feels like.

    It is precisely from the contrast between the overload of signs and the total absence of meaning that a certain discomfort can arise for the observer unable to decipher them. This feeling, for different reasons, could also be perceived in today's car design - the only difference being that the contrast comes not from the inability to read the sign’s meaning, but more likely from the absence of it.





    Car design has always expressed itself through volumes, shapes and, indeed, ‘signs’, thus integrating contents of different origins: technical, industrial, functional and imaginary. These are filtered through the language of culture and values of each particular brand. In the automobile’s nascency, these signs, initially acting as references to carriages, progressively emancipated themselves by creating a specific language for this global product. During the ‘roaring’ ‘30s, automotive symbolism employed chrome and decorative elements to express the enthusiasm of the unbridled developments underway, as is particularly evident in the great American and European luxury cars. This expression reached its peak with the exuberant, Art Déco-inspired bodywork of the Grande Carrosserie Française.

    After WW II, the economic and social recovery was guided by far more pragmatic and profound aspects - at least in Europe, where car design began to express itself through pure volumes that were strongly evocative of their respective function: masterpieces such as the Cisitalia 202, the Citroën DS and the BMC Mini are the clearest demonstration of this development. Meanwhile in America (which had been far less affected by the conflict on its home soil), the automobile continued to expand on its previous symbolism through the increasingly emphatic signs of the 1950s-60s American styling. Comparing the front grille of a Cadillac or similar to that of a contemporary European car should hence suffice to understand the difference between superficial symbolism and functional reality. In the first case, we are dealing with false signs that exasperate the imagination. In the second case, we are presented with grids or simple aluminium lamellas that perfectly perform two contrasting functions: air permeability and impermeability to foreign bodies. Look at a Ferrari 250 GT SWB for example, which is pure in every respect: proportions, form and function, without anything added on top. This is precisely the difference between styling and design. And also between ephemeral futility and permanence.

    In the automobile’s case, this craft has been called styling for a long time. Only towards the end of ’60s did the notion of design begin to receive consideration, in the sense of a deeper integration of all the object’s conception factors, alongside an expression of its values and contents. Functional and safety issues started influencing the signs of the automobile, in parallel with the transformations of the global automotive industry. This was probably prevailed until the end of the 20th century. Then things changed again, and are still evolving today. For by the ‘90s already, superficial semantic expressions began to take precedence over content. In this context, we mustn’t forget the likes of Flame Surfacing, New Edge design and what not, which contributed immensely to the shift of the design discussion almost exclusively towards superficial aspects.

    Whilst the designer, as he leaves the perimeter of the standalone product, now needs to deal with more intangible factors, the playground itself has expanded further, subjected to new, decisive influences, both in the technical and cultural fields.

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    Quantity of signs (photo © Audi AG)

    On the one hand, there has been a progressive technical homologation, driven by industrial and economic needs. On the other hand, increasingly stringent international standards have been added to the list of requirements. Furthermore, there is an ever-increasing preponderance of emerging markets’ expectations, which now dominate style trends worldwide. Recent designs of German premium brands betray how important the expectations of Asian customers in general and the Chinese in particular are to these companies. After decades of Asian copies of German design, it seems as though the automotive design world has been turned on its head.

    Obviously, the ‘blame’ for this development is not solely to be put on those customers and their alleged taste. In fact, it seems more likely a consequence of designers’ interpretations of those alleged preferences, driven by the excessive influence of marketing criteria. Moreover, a significant generational and cultural change is taking place at all OEMs’ design centres, which has considerable impact on the very notion of design (and maybe on taste too). However, the actual problem also stems from the vision of design management and their ability (or lack thereof) to propose meaningful guidelines to their teams, rather than adopting corporate routines and politics as an easier option. Furthermore, the most recent generations of automotive designers have indiscriminately undergone standardised training and feed their creativity through the same global information channels. A logical consequence of which is the emergence of a worldwide conformist design mainstream. Against this backdrop, it is easy to understand why these are confusing times for automotive design.

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    Quality of signs (photo © Audi AG)

    As we no longer find a large scope of variety among the stylistic languages of most brands, the tired phrase about «cars looking all the same» has never made as much sense as it does today - despite there never having been as great a variety of segments and technologies on the market. Yet, with the uncontrolled profusion of front grilles as immense as they are functionally useless (allegedly inspired by Chinese theatre masks or the Transformeraesthetic), the addition of brightwork by the shovelful, fake exhausts commonly adopted by everybody (whose application on some EVs seems to be only a matter of time) and an increasingly significant amount of complicated details, today's cars have turned into accumulations of signs devoid of content. They have become superficial caricatures, often bearing no relationship with the very meaning of their respective brands and the cultures that produced them.

    As with disorientation due to Japanese signs, recent cars, and in particular those of the SUV, luxury saloon or super sports car categories, are the obvious representation of how the progressive loss of sense and meaning relating to these products and the automobile in general is unsuccessfully compensated by the compulsive addition of superficial symbols. For these only render the underlying message even less understandable, thus producing conformist objects overloaded with signs, but completely devoid of content.

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    Say Anything ( photo © Zhiji Auto)

    Paradoxically, the opposite of this phenomenon also occurs, as in the case of the countless EVs, whose tortured and complex forms converge in an unexpressive void at the front, in lieu of the entirely decorative grille. So, on the one hand we have grimaces screaming out loudly without any meaning, and on the other mute expressions that have not yet found a way to symbolise their contents.

    Even in interior design, one could reflect on the excessive presence of unnecessary and superficial signs. Just a few days ago, on Facebook, someone posted the following joke: «If exterior designers did the interiors, then all the vents would be fake.» Jokes aside, what do we say about the gigantic screens that are now completely invading the dashboards of every new EV? Maybe those really are the equivalent of Shibuya Scramble Crossing, albeit inside a car. Another sign of our confusing times.

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  13. energy88

    energy88 F1 World Champ
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    Yes, it is aero and a bubble car, but I didn't see or hear a coefficient of drag (Cd) quoted. Don't think it would be much lower than similar cars of today.

    However, the "wheel covers" with the little Mercedes logo slots might add something aero and are both refreshing and probably better than typical 5-spoke mag wheels. Also, the little Mercedes logo tail light cut outs are tasteful and interesting.
     
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  14. F1tommy

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    On to something different, Military styling. I noticed the Russian Typhoon VDV looks alot like a Jeep from the front, so not only Toyota likes Jeep styling(Rav4 Jeep copy).


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  15. NeuroBeaker

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  16. 330 4HL

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    I found the first two paragraphs particularly interesting as it relates to my own experiences.
    Given my era and coming from an architectural background, two of my most important early influences were Frank Lloyd Wright and Arthur Erickson, both of whom were themselves greatly influenced by Japanese art and design. From Aikido to Zen, Japanese cultural endeavors are both highly proscribed and yet highly creative within those limits. Starting from their traditional building methods, the design solutions that architects come to with often extreme constraints in site anomalies and regulations is quite frequently minimal and highly functional.
    Imagine then my surprise on my first visit to Japan when I was faced with the occasional rather random numbering system for street addresses and the chaotic wiring that passes for power supply in the country. It seems that there may be a sizable cultural constraint in the approach taken in problem solving; not wrong, just different.
    I've never quite managed to form a compelling opinion on the reasons for what I observed.

    BTW, I have no idea whatsoever how any of what I've just written has any bearing on the size of Lexus grilles or the haphazard surfacing of Toyota SUVs! :rolleyes:
     
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  17. jm2

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    I believe many car designers also have an interest in architecture. While the form follows function credo is sacrosanct, the works of Frank Gehry always fascinated me. When Cadillac was searching for itself and developed the Art & Science design vocabulary, Gehry's buildings seemed to 'fit'. Image Unavailable, Please Login Image Unavailable, Please Login Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
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  18. anunakki

    anunakki Five Time F1 World Champ
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  19. F1tommy

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    Always liked his smaller titanium clad buildings but he has a harder time doing tall buildings. I prefer Santiago Calatrava's stuff, leaking roofs and all. It's all about originality. Sometimes in the internet age people have a hard time doing that, be it cars or buildings.
     
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  20. VigorousZX

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  21. jm2

    jm2 F1 World Champ
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    Whoa, didn't expect to see that sketch here.

    The guy/guys behind the Nissan were former GM Design people. The designer responsible for the Nissan design was my former boss when I first started at GM. Had a big influence on me. He and I had the same design sensibilities and preferences. While I certainly never copied those Nissan guys, they did have an influence on myself. The interesting thing is those were all done pre internet. No one knew what other companies were doing until something showed up at an auto show or featured in Car Styling magazine. Today, every designer knows what every designer across the globe is doing in real time via Instagram/facebook, and Social Media. Whole different game today with instant access.
     
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  22. tritone

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    For better or for worse.........:cool:
     
  23. Jeff Kennedy

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    A couple of those NDI people came by way of Chrysler.

    At that time Nissan was doing some great design work but then went completely off the rails. Not sure how the lost path exactly happened if it was by retirements or other rising powers inside the Japanese structure (or the French at Renault) but something caused it to the detriment of Nissan.
     
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  24. jm2

    jm2 F1 World Champ
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    I believe once Jerry Hirschberg, Allan Flowers and Tom Semple left, everything changed.
     
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  25. Jeff Kennedy

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    Doug Wilson, e-ChryCo, was another of the early people. I remember published work of his for the Nissan NX.
     
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  26. jm2

    jm2 F1 World Champ
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    Mr. Sketchmonkey does the new electric Benz van
     
  27. F1tommy

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    #12025 F1tommy, May 13, 2021 at 9:45 AM
    Last edited: May 13, 2021 at 9:51 AM
    I am not optimistic about this at all. I think they have to many brands that will all blend together. Look at the garbage Citroen, a once great and evolutionary French auto design and manufacturer has made over the last few years. Blobs with wheels. Not that I loved all the designs sweater boy approved over at FCA, I think he tried to keep Italian identity. This company is all about profit margins.

    I am already looking forward to the day they sell off Alfa and Maserati and maybe Lancia!!

    PLOUE’ TAKES OVER LANCIA AND STELLANTIS LCV DESIGN - Auto&Design (autodesignmagazine.com)
     
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