Automotive

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.

CRAFT: Topaz Level 5 Signature Detail

Having had the good fortune to have had several modern vehicles in the bivouac’s collection over the years, one thing is clear. Clear coat technology has certainly improved since it introduction the 1980’s. That said, as manufacturers have moved to more water based paints, orange peeling is still prevalent on even the most premium offerings as evidenced in this Topaz Maybach detailing video. There’s something to be said for the masters that have the patience, technique and scientific outlook needed to rectify some of the failings of from factory paint work. He’s to the details and detailers out there!

2019 EyesOn Design Awards

It was a pleasure participating again this year as an EyesOn Design judge at the North American International Auto Show. Congratulations to the award winners on their inspirational work.

 

Best Concept Vehicle  -  Infiniti QX 3 Inspiration Concept 
- Presented by Dassault Systèmes
The judges say: "A new and fresh look that shows extraordinary sophistication and simplicity."

 

Best Designed Interior  Infiniti QX 3 Inspiration Concept 
- Presented by ABC Technologies
The judges say: "True inspiration and functionality."

 

Innovative Use of Color, Graphics or Materials  Infiniti QX 3 Inspiration Concept
- Presented by Axalta
The judges say: "Embodies a modern take on materials while retaining a clean Japanese sensibility." 

 

Best Production Vehicle  Ford Mustang Shelby GT 500 
- Presented by Covestro LLC
The judges say: "The next best tribute to the Mustang ... what the car really represents."
 

IDEO's Future of Automobility work included in Cooper Hewitt's "The Road Ahead: Reimagining Mobility" Exhibition

It is such a pleasure to see work from IDEO’s four part exploration of “The Future of Automobility included within the Cooper Hewitt’s “The Road Ahead: Reimagining Mobility Exhibit. On view at the New York’s Cooper Hewitt through March 31st, 2019, the exhibit explores how we might move people, things, spaces and information in the 21st Century and beyond. Innovative concepts, prototypes and simulation work exploring how future forms of mobility and new approaches to urban planning might emerge are featured from leading companies working in the mobility domain.

Visitors are prompted to capture their own hopes, needs and desires for future mobility on post-it notes and to place them upon a life-sized sketch of a vehicle designed to support shared mobility.

Visitors are prompted to capture their own hopes, needs and desires for future mobility on post-it notes and to place them upon a life-sized sketch of a vehicle designed to support shared mobility.

Concepts created for the Future of Automobility series exploring moving people, things, spaces and together are on view within the exhibit space.

Concepts created for the Future of Automobility series exploring moving people, things, spaces and together are on view within the exhibit space.

Off The Wall

Whenever I see images of automotive designers thoughtfully shaping vehicle profiles at 1:1 scale on walls with tape and film and pen and pencil I get inspired. Regardless of how often these traditional visualization methods are used in this age of virtual reality visualization capability, images like this are a powerful reminder of what goes into getting vehicles out into the world. For the rare percentage of them that resemble rolling sculpture, it is well and good to be reminded of all the effort, craft, vision, methods and attention to detail that goes into making them a reality.