2020 Mid-Engine Corvette Stingray: A Game Changer



The extensive Corvette Academy video outlines the design and engineering process behind the 2020 C8 Corvette. At the announced price and with the performance characteristics stated to date, this could be a real game changer in the sports car market. With this much change, the effort harkens back to other great evolution efforts in mobility and other engineering domains, balancing innovation with core elements of the brand. Clearly exciting times and roads lie ahead for Corvette fans.


A Refined Point of View From Gifted Photographers and Land Rover



Land Rover recently refined the all-new Evoque to bring it in line with the marques new design language. To celebrate the creative activity of refining a point of view, Land Rover commissioned several photographers (including San Francisco’s own Nikk La) to capture new perspectives on the cities they love and the Evoque came along for the ride. Check out the series via Cool Hunting.


Apollo Memories Have Us Looking Up


The Apollo launch multimedia piece shown upon and around the Washington monument is an inspiring piece of storytelling and visualization. It masters constraints beautifully and the venue replicates the kind of shared experience that those witnessing the launch and moon landing must have felt…albeit on a smaller scale. This liftoff is sure to lift you spirits as we face our own troubling times and contrast that with a vision of reaching Mars.


Charged Up about the Future of Overlanding



Rivian showed up at Overland Expo West with a bivouac capable version of its electric pickup truck. The unique pass through storage space located behind the passenger compartment contains an overlanding kitchen with inductive cook range and sink with an electric pump. All accessories draw upon the 180kw battery. Although this is just a concept for now, it gets one thinking about the future promise of zero emissions overlanding that is just around the bend.


Hobie Revolution 13


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Having dusted off the Hobie Revolution 13 in the last couple of weeks, the bivouac is reminded of just how aptly it is named, the Hobie Revolution 13 represents a remarkable revolution in kayaks. Offering excellent stability in the water and superior ergonomic positioning over the last generation of sea kayaks, the Hobie Revolution 13 is designed to allow users to sit on it rather than in it. The lightweight seat is breathable and fully adjustable thanks to its integrated BOA powered lumbar adjustment system and other thoughtful angle adjustments.

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When coupled with the ground-breaking Hobie Mirage Drive, it transforms occupants into super heroes. Covering longer distances that would have once crushed one’s back and shoulders is now child’s play. The Mirage Drive is a remarkable piece of design and engineering. It empowers riders to move through the water at a quick pace for long periods of time. Modeled after how penguins shift their fins through the water, the fins shift back and forth while pivoting, insuring an efficiency previously unheard of. Excellent ergonomics keep back fatigue at bay and allow occupants a more upright view, freeing them to focus more on their surroundings.

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An ingenious rudder system rounds out the offering, providing nimble and easily controllable handling and subtle wind offset functionality. Overall the Hobie Revolution 13 is an well-rounded stable platform upon which to move at speed or to fish from with confidence. Two thumbs up and paddle raised high from the bivouac!

Oroville Dam Spillway in All of its Glory



Last week, The California Department of Water Resources opened the gates of the Oroville Reservoir. Water flowed dramatically down the chute (the width of a twelve-lane highway with a center divider) for the first time since the spillway failed a couple of years and forced the evacuation of over 100,000 residents down stream. This has been an amazing feat of engineering and a project of inspirational scale that the bivouac has kept a constant interest in. It is nice to see we are capable of completing projects like this in a timely and safe fashion. Great to see the spillway working as designed as well. A thing of beauty. Thanks to all who worked so hard on the project to help ensure California’s crucial life-giving water supply. And thanks to DWR for doing such an amazing job of capturing the progress on the project which can be viewed here.

Craft Inspiration: Simon Stålenhag...Extraordinary Visual Storytelling



With a long-standing interest in future visualizations at the bivouac, the style and substance of Simon Stålenhag’s illustrations has left quite the impression. Stålenhag’s masterful illustrative technique is remarkable in and of itself, but his unique ability to seamlessly blend the world we know today with new and unfamiliar future technologies makes his work truly distinct.

Stalenhag’s command of visualizations is so powerful that he has created mini-stories that are self-narrative. His Illustrations portrait powerful story arcs on their own without the need of the written word.

Stålenhag is particularly skilled at capturing an expansive sense of scale. He does this through placing large, fascinating, futuristic objects into what would otherwise be commonplace landscapes. This juxtaposition, often accompanied with a remarkable command of lighting and a clarity of focus applied to certain areas of the composition, further enhances a dramatic sense of expansiveness.

Another device Stålenhag uses in some story lines is placing human beings in what appears to be vulnerable contexts when juxtaposed with new forms of technology. Children or parents with children can often be seen navigating a landscape strewn with disused “old future” technologies or avoiding those that seem to be searching for them.

The placement of today’s emergent technology in such matter-of-fact settings and often applying an aged patina to technologies we have yet to come to know is powerful. Work like this can help encourage us to ask important questions about the technology we are bringing into the world at an increasing pace and why we might want to think more carefully about doing so.

To view more of Stalenhag’s work visit: https://www.simonstalenhag.se/

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OZY Article Explores the Power of Movings Spaces


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Nice seeing this OZY article entitled “Your Grocery Store and Office May Soon Come to You” featuring IDEO’s Future of Automobility work amongst other future mobile space concepts. Written by Tafline Laylin, the piece explores how future autonomous moving spaces may help cities evolve in a positive ways by providing more equitable access to everything from medical facilities to grocery stores to more easy to access office spaces.

Objects of Inspiration: Cruisers Yachts 338 South Beach Edition



With so many in need these days, one has to be conscious of whether praising yacht design is something that really needs to be done. That said, companies like Cruisers Yachts deserves recognition as they are pushing for more innovation in smaller and more modest sizes these days. And they are doing so while still offering strikingly beautiful vessels. Witness the 2019 Cruiser Yachts 338 South Beach Edition.

It is a stunning yet pragmatic approach to designing a smaller yacht that can meet the needs of those setting out for a long weekend. The innovating rear seating, generous forward gunnel side storage and an asymmetric pass way through to the front bow area all distinguish the 338’s design. The rear platform even works well with the newest version of the 338 that incorporates outboard propulsion.

The rear swim platform provides a generous space from which to access the water, while an ingenious powered seat solution provide multi-position sun seating for lounging or socializing.

The generous berth below the foredeck has a modern and minimalist ambience. Thoughtful integration sinks, refrigerators and microwaves and an accessible rear swim platform all show great attention to detail and overall sensitivity to balancing pragmatism with style. A powered extending bimini top helps provide shade for a large portion of the aft deck if desired.

In a world in need of downsizing and in the age of mega yachts, it is great to see companies offering solutions that are more appropriate in the context of the world economy today that still push design forward.

Full instrumentation is provided in a functional and strikingly modern manner.

Volvo's New Shining Star


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Volvo’s Polestar helped shape perceptions of the brand’s performance capabilities. Now, Volvo has announced the Polestar 2 which will usher the brand into new, fully electric vehicle territory. The future looks bright if Volvo can indeed follow this guiding start. Check out more on Volvo’s site.

Polestar 2  |  Range Target: 275

Polestar 2 | Range Target: 275

Polestar 2  |  0-60 Time: 4.7 Seconds

Polestar 2 | 0-60 Time: 4.7 Seconds

Price: Around $45,000  |  First Twelve Months Special Edition $63,000

Price: Around $45,000 | First Twelve Months Special Edition $63,000

Pioneering Women and Vehicle Design


The “Damsels of Design”    |       photo: General Motors

The “Damsels of Design” | photo: General Motors


Artsy’s “The Pioneering Women Who Designed Car Interiors in the 1950s” article highlights the notable contributions and innovations that a group of women designers at GM were responsible for in the mid 1950’s.

More recently, examples such as BMW’s E89 Z4, arguably one of BMW’s best looking vehicles designed to date, was also designed by women. Juliane Blasi and Nadya Arnaout designed the E89’s exterior and interior design respectively. Together they brought far more character and elegance to the series than prior versions. Learn more about their perspectives via the BMW blog interview and in this article in the New York Times. These are just two examples that serve as powerful evidence that the automobile industry only stands to benefit from more diversity. As we move towards the promise of a new Age of Automobility, this increased diversity will be even more essential as an increasing number of perspectives will be needed to address the challenges and opportunities ahead.

On the Line:  Julian Blasi, Exterior Designer for the BMW E89 shapes the outlines of the third generation Z4.

On the Line: Julian Blasi, Exterior Designer for the BMW E89 shapes the outlines of the third generation Z4.

The Z4’s Beauty…Inside and Out:  Nadya Arnaout shaped the progressive, yet classic lines and materials of the E89 roadster interior.

The Z4’s Beauty…Inside and Out: Nadya Arnaout shaped the progressive, yet classic lines and materials of the E89 roadster interior.

Mobility Moment: Designing Interiors for New Purposes



While companies continue to do interesting and beautiful vehicle interior concept work, a wide range of new configurations for accommodating vehicle occupants remains to be explored. As we move towards an new era of Automobility driven by autonomous technology, how might we work or socialize in this new era when we no longer have to be as attentive to the demands of driving that we face today. Take a closer look at a few explorations via IDEO’s Future of Automobility point of view series.

Capturing New Productivity - How might we design future vehicle interiors that empower occupants to work or connect with others while en route? What might happen to the affordances for manual driving and how might that transition take place?

Work or Play - New seating configurations enhanced by new forms of ambience that allow for more natural social interactions will evolve as Level 5 autonomous systems become available.


2019 BMW R1250 GS Adventure TFT Display: Clearly Ahead of the Competition


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Many BMW boxer hours have been logged here at the bivouac but the 2019 BMW R1250 Adventure looks to represent a serious step forward in development and refinement. Even coming from the world of the superlative K1600GT, the new telematics and interface options for 2019 seem leaps and bounds ahead. With a crisp and bold Thin-Film-Transistor (or TFT) display, BMW has upped both the functionality and legibility of their displays and they are making them standard across many more models this year. With robust integration of phone features including playing audio and providing turn-by-turn navigation prompting plus a slew of adjustability and informational displays about any given bike setting, this seems like a must have feature that quite a bit of design effort and development has gone into.

Significant Redesign:  The 2019 GSA has a redesigned boxer engine with shift cam technology and a revised powerful TFT display.

Significant Redesign: The 2019 GSA has a redesigned boxer engine with shift cam technology and a revised powerful TFT display.

Heads Up:  The TFT display has been designed for easy access to information and glanceability and configuration.

Heads Up: The TFT display has been designed for easy access to information and glanceability and configuration.

Clearly Ahead:  The display technology works across a variety of lighting contexts.

Clearly Ahead: The display technology works across a variety of lighting contexts.

Building on the Past:  A fond view at the bivouac, the K1600GT’s configurable display is still solid but is starting to age. In its initial instantiation, the clocks always had legibility issues which were addressed to some degree with a refresh. Any such issues on the GS line have been clearly solved with the new the R1250GSA instrumentation.

Building on the Past: A fond view at the bivouac, the K1600GT’s configurable display is still solid but is starting to age. In its initial instantiation, the clocks always had legibility issues which were addressed to some degree with a refresh. Any such issues on the GS line have been clearly solved with the new the R1250GSA instrumentation.

Information Visualization: The Impact of War



Although it has been around for a while, The Fallen of World War II does a fine job of visualizing the sheer number of lives lost during the conflict. It is always sobering to see the scope of the war visualized and pieces like this help us to remain ever mindful of those that sacrificed or lost their lives in a civilian context so that what so that the relative pease we have today is not taken for granted.