Posted by: futurevehicles | August 14, 2009

Industrial Design exhibitions and COMMUNISM.

Yes, COMMUNISM. How on earth did i draw parallels between Industrial Design and communism? Well- all it took was one meeting between every student in the final year group for me to come to the conclusion that communism has overrun the planning of our final graduation exhibition at the end of the year.

It has been decreed (YES, decreed- to emphasise the seriousness of the matter), that the presentation panel/s that each students places behind their project will all be regulated to follow a singular stylistic format. The decision was made after it was argued that presentation panels from previous years looked like a shambles when in a small gallery space.


It was decided that in the interest of professionalism, uniformity and sheer insanity- it would be a grand idea to force the students to follow a template that must be used on their presentation panels. Kim Jong Il anyone? This is the first recorded case of communism in the Industrial Design field- and my fellow students and I are NONE TOO PLEASED.

The presentation panel………in all its many guises……..tells the story. Imagine the actual product is the crystal ball and the presentation panel is the crazy old gypsy lady telling a story. The panel should be individual- a representation (both textual and visual) of a students story of the product and of their adventure over the past year. Regulating the way in which we tell our story is…………..well…………it is sacrilege in my opinion.

For the 5 of us doing vehicle design, it is of THE utmost importance that we be given entire creative freedom when we do our posters. The viewer needs to understand that the model in front of them is not just a fancy looking car- but a product of passion and a love for the car. The presentation panel tells this story.

Comment please. I want to hear what people think on this.

Posted by: futurevehicles | August 13, 2009

Another experiment- The man with the can.

This second experiment was a bit more up my alley. First of all, it involved a can- which is just my thang so……………….yeah. Second of all it took place in only 2 dimensions. Being an illustrator at heart means that i naturally drift towards doing things of a 2-d nature- and this experiment was perfect for me.

My goal in this task was to try and achieve lines, shapes and forms that i couldnt achieve on the drawing board. When you think about it, when you are sketching on a piece of paper you are incredibly limited in terms of the type of curve one can achieve. My forms were a reflection of this in that they were just a product of my wrist and forearm moving backwards and forwards across the page.

Using an old, very BIG canvas that i had lying around my room, i decided to try and get a bit more loose in my hand and arm movements- with the main intention being to wind up with a series of curves that i could pick out and use at a later date. I didnt want to waste expensive paint because there was the risk of this task being a total failure, so i picked up an old can of K&H matt black paint that i had left over and let my mind run free.

For those who know aerosol paints, most commercial paints (like the K&H) come with a chisel tip nozzle, meaning that depending on the direction in which you spray the can you will either get a very thin precise line or a faded wide line.

I began with some VERY quick diagonal strokes, and to my utter surprise the lines came out unimaginably thin. For a paint that is S%#T at the best of times, it seemed to be proving its worth and i was getting better than expected results. The painting continued for around 20 minutes. Nothing was planned or calculated; it was a completely spontaneous process that reignited the fire in my belly.


Posted by: futurevehicles | August 12, 2009

Plaster casting experiment- Part 1 of 2

Following on from my recent tyrades into experimentation, I thought i’d post up a few pictures of one of the exploratory exercises that i actually did do amidst all of my raging. With a background in fine art, i’ve done some plaster casting in the past so i thought it would be a good idea to start this process in an area that i feel comfortable working in.

The goal of this task was to just cast a plaster plate/block that i could destroy in a graceful manner at a later date (that will come in part 2).

Start with some scales. Make sure they are ACCURATE PLEASE. Mine were rather archaic, which doesnt help when you have to get the ratios pretty spot on.

The plaster i am using is called hydrocal. It is unbelievably accurate and can pick up the most minute details providing the mold is of good quality. I have done a cast of my arm in the past and every single fingerprint, arm hair and mole were all visible in the plaster cast. SCARY STUFF!!!

Using whatever kitchen bench you have available (be ready to piss your mum off), prepare all of the ingredients based on the ratios specified on the plaster container. In this case it is 100 parts hydrocal to 45 parts water. Fairly easy to remember? GOOD. Find a container that will, depending on how much plaster you mix, give you some sort of square or rectangular plate/brick shape. Ice cream containers work well.

Place the plaster in the container first and then add all of the water at once. MIX LIKE A MADMAN until there are no lumps and it looks like you are preparing some delicious home made ice cream for the rest of the family. I contemplated eating it- but the smell was less than appetising.

Wait around 30-45 minutes for the plaster to set. If you dont think its dry completely, give the bottom of the container a tap against the table. If you get a heavy THUD, then you know its dry.

Looks good enough to eat doesnt it? This is the end result- well……..the first half of the end result. Make sense? No? WELL TOO BAD!!! I plan on breaking this magical creation- for what reason i’m not sure- but whatever way i do break it you will definitely be seeing some video footage of it.

Until then- keep watching the skies. They are out there.

Posted by: futurevehicles | August 11, 2009

In an effort to satisfy the higher powers……

I just did my first “experiment”. Needless to say, it was the most depressing moment of my life- but graduating will make it all seem worth it. Video up on youtube tonight hopfully.

Posted by: futurevehicles | August 11, 2009

THAT IS IT- I can’t take this crap anymore.

By CRAP i mean experimentation. Its a joke- thats what it is. It is just another little task to fill a stupid work criterion. I’m not Zaha Hadid; I dont want to break sheets of glass just to look like a wanky designer. I’m sick and tired of people trying to push me off the path i have layed out for myself. This semester is supposed to be a well organised thing with an emphasis on time management. I DIDNT MAKE TIME TO DO SILLY EXPERIMENTS- NONE OF US DID!!!! I had it all planned in my pretty little head: so many weeks for such and such etc etc- so to have it suggested to us that we should just throw it all out the window and “experiment” seems counterproductive to me.

You know that feeling of helplesness when you want to proceed but you dont know how- YEAH- thats what i’m feeling.

God, i’m looking to you for answers.

Posted by: futurevehicles | August 11, 2009

C’mon kids- lets do an experiment.

If you read an absorbed my last post- you will know that i’m an advocate of experimentation in the EARLIER stages of a project. It can be a valuable tool in discovering forms that are simply unachievable on a piece of paper- thus adding richness to a project when it comes time for it to be viewed by your peers.

Having never really done any of this type of experimentation before, I am thoroughly perplexed as to what i can do and what i can take from doing these things. How do i make sure that i dont lose my original design intention in a sea of far-out radicalness?

It’s a difficult balancing act- and to be honest- it is one that i dont want to spend much time doing. I’ve come to realise over these past few weeks that car design simply IS NOT FOR ME in the slightest. Yeah, i LOVE cars, but i can not see myself spending the rest of my life in this industry because it takes a special type of person with a certain skillset to do so.

I think my talents would be better suited elsewhere- but I can still give this project a red hot crack in the hope of graduating this course in a blaze of untamed glory.

I will do these experiments- not so much because i want to, but because i have to. All i want to do is say that “Its there, I’ve done it. Can i have the mark and the recognition. Thanks”. That might sound like a very narrow-minded, ignorant attitude, but most designers these days are simply in the business of making money. Time spent experimenting is time spent not making money or getting your name out there. I come from a different school of thought to most people, as i am of the belief that the end result is EVERYTHING- and in car design IT IS EVERYTHING. Most people, when they look at our work at the end of the year, will probably give it the quick once-over, raise an eyebrow and then walk away. The process will be completely irrelevant to them- so how do I try and find that balancing act of a rich end result and a rich design process?

Posted by: futurevehicles | August 11, 2009

Opinions are like anxieties- everyone has some.

As much a we like to think that we are open to constructive criticism and the opinions of others, secretly i think that the majority of people hate having their ideas brought into question. I for one, hate having my point of view or my idea brought in to question- so when it was suggested to me that my current design direction for my vehicle was lacking somewhat- i was suitably cheesed off.

Had i of been told this a bit earlier in the process, i would have taken it on board with much aplomb, but now that it is the final 13 weeks of the semester i cant help but feel that it is almost too late to radically change my design direction. I’ve defined the package; i’ve defined the aesthetic style; i’ve made my design intention VERY clear since the end of the first semester- so to have it challenged so abruptly seems odd to me.

I was told to experiment; to look outside the four walls of the sketchbook to find forms. I’m all cool with that, but when we are running on a very strict deadline with SPECIFIC GOALS to be met each week- how does one find time for this often time-consuming experimentation process?

Posted by: futurevehicles | August 5, 2009

Wow- the web has something to offer other than sleaze.

I get annoyed by the internet sometimes. You can put in so much effort and time trying to find something and the end result may be very little. With books, you are guaranteed atleast 100 pages of pure fact, theory and conjecture.

Youtube ( ) has literally changed our lives forever- and i dont say that lightly. It gives everyone access to everyone- everything access to everything and everyone access to everything. It’s a beautiful concept, and while most of the videos are pure garbage, there are some gems to be found if you look hard enough.

Watch BMW‘s chief designer Chris Bangle speak of the notion that the car is art- a notion that isn’t really spoken of too much these days. His unique approach should be inspiration to not just car designers, but any designer wanting motivation to think of design in new and exciting ways.

Documentary making at its wacky finest. PBS‘s ‘Car of the future’ is an in depth look at the new technologies that will serve to shape our automotive future. Watch as the shows host endeavors to implement some of these technologies in to a 1952 MG roadster. Warning: This is a big video. You need fast net.

Okay, so the Mazda 3 isn’t a 300km/h supercar- but it has a lot of merits in terms of its design, package and sheer popularity. This small video shows Mazda’s chief designer Nigel Ratcliffe speaking candidly about the Mazda 3 design process- from the initial sketches through to the later stages of production.


There will be more like this to come. I have to sift through all the garbage to find the gems.

Posted by: futurevehicles | August 5, 2009

I haven’t forgotten about you my precious blog.

Quick post. The past few weeks of my absence have been justified. I had my mid-semester presentations in which i did incredibly well and i’ve been busting my buns trying to prepare myself for my FINAL semester- yes- my FINAL semester EVER. Now that i’m back in the swing of things i’ll be updating regularly with some of the sketches and experiments i’ve been doing. It’s going to be an intense 12-13 weeks so i recommend that you keep your eyes affixed solely to this blog and NOTHING else- especially not facebook.

Posted by: futurevehicles | June 3, 2009

Car of the day- Kenmari- the forgotten GT-R

When most people hear the words ‘Nissan’ and ‘GT-R’- they immediately think r35, r34, r33, and r32.  However, the GT-R legacy began a lot earlier than 1989. It began in the early 70’s with the legendary (and expensive) KPGC-10 GT-R- a car that became famous for it’s simplicity and racing pedigree.

After the KPGC10, things went a bit quiet in terms of GT-R popularity, and this is a real shame because it was at a time when Nissan released an amazing successor to the original GT-R.

‘Cleverly’ named the KPGC110, this GT-R was considered the black sheep of the Nissan family. In Australia, all we got was the crappy Datsun 240K, which was just a very detuned and lame version of this most magnificent machine. Using a 160hp, 2.0 litre straight 6, the little coupe was a worthy son to the original GT-R and obtained a cult following all of its own.


Affectionately nicknamed ‘Kenmari’, very few of the originals have survived the test of time- and as a result they can fetch up to $120,000 AUD at auction. Still, a few dedicated wealthy businessmen and car enthusiasts have endeavoured to make sure that the legacy of this strange little beast continues.


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