Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Lets not leave Chevrolet alone in this "Automotive Critique". Ford is equally at fault:


Look at these fairly recent and fabulous Ford concepts!  
  
Even this grocery-getting, rinky-dink 2000 Ford 021C concept is far cooler than anything Ford is manufacturing right now!  How hard can it be to create a car of desire!?  It was done all though the 40s, 50s, and 60s!  30 years of automotive bliss!  Then the 70s hit us with a bricks of ugliness (which also leads me to the pitiful housing market of the last 40 or so years.  The barely-meets-code-houses built these days are absolute hideous trash!  I don't care how big they are or how many dormers they have, they are not worth money.  Period!).  

 The 2001 Ford Forty-Nine concept.  This is so beautiful that it boggle the mind why Ford would not produce it.

 The 2003 Ford 427 concept.  This concept lead to the current Ford Fusion. This concept is fabulous.  The Fusion is not.

 The 2004 Ford Bronco concept.  How is that Ford is so inept that they can not bring this, something that they have already succeeded in manufacturing in their previous 1960s Bronco, to light!?  Even their 1966 through 1977 Bronco is hands-down the coolest SUV EVER!

 The 2005 Ford Interceptor Concept.  Where in the world is this car!?  Why is Ford not making this incredibly awesome car?

 The 2007 Ford Airstream concept.  Ok, this is a little out-there-spacy, but man, it is so much cooler than ANYTHING Ford is currently delivery to us, that... that, well, I'm speechless.

 The 2010 Ford Start concept.  This is a bread-box B-car of dreams!  This is the most beautiful grocery-getter I have ever seen!  This car is so incredibly cool, that if Ford would manufacture it, it would ruin the rest of the automotive world, it would be so succesful.  That Ford does not bring this to the people is a sure sign of incompetence!  Dear Ford, make this car (not some ugly derivative) and I'll buy THREE of them, right away!

 This 2011 Ford Evos concept, like the Ford Start, this is what car-dreams are made of.  This Evos is one of the most beautiful mid-size concepts EVER!  This is what the current Mustang should look like (and not the hideous, bloated monstrosity that Ford is currently manufacturing!)! WHERE IS THIS CAR!?

Now, must we compare the above to what Ford is currently manufacturing and bringing to the people? Shutter... sadly, we must, and I don't want to ruin this heaven;y post with what we are now going to see below.  ...sigh.
The 2015 Ford Fiesta.  Ok, this car is a LOT better than anything from Chevy, but it is still lacking in the desire department.

 I feel bad for the 2014 Ford Focus.  Even the smaller Fiesta is cooler looking that the Focus!  Ford also needs to get rid of the goofy looking forward pointed tail light that wraps around the side of the car.  What exactly were they thinking there?

 The 2015 Ford Fusion.  What is this, Fords version of the Chevy Malibu?  It's a pitifully ugly generic wonder of trash!

 The 2015 Ford Mustang.  Sigh.  I'll start off here by saying that I have never, ever, liked the Ford Mustang, from 1964 to now.  I'll admit that the early 1965-1968 Mustangs have a lot to desire and have a lot of beauty to them, but I have never personally liked them.  However, this current 2015 thing that Ford calls a Mustang, is a hideously bloated ugly behemoth!  The 1960s Stang is so sleek and crisp!  What is happening with this thing?  Where is the Evos-Stang!?

The 2015 Ford Taurus.  ...or is it the 500?  Whatever Ford wants to call their land yacht, it is a only remotely worth money.  I'm guessing that Ford's adherence to their supposed design-language is killing all the beauty that they thought may have existed with their original concepts that their designers, I'm sure, have so masterfully created.  Where is all the beauty that they are able to create in their concepts???

Monday, December 1, 2014

I think the world's automobile manufactures are all but completely incompetent and irresponsibly bad stewards.

Speaking, almost, on a purely exterior design point of view, I think the worlds automobile manufactures are all but completely incompetent and irresponsibly bad stewards.  Since 1972, there are almost no  cars (NONE!) that are worthy of desire.  Go to any car show these days and there will be no cars from the 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s (that are not brand new cars being pawned off from local dealers).  Every car, in every type of car show today (and ever since, for the last 50 years!!!) will be from the year 1972 or older.  That's right!  Ever since about 1972, every single car made is almost compete trash, aesthetically speaking.  Nothing made today is worthy of desire of anything else other than pure-applieancedom.  Then, with the added electronic "connectivity/entertainment" systems, they are relegated to almost 100% disposable, relics of wanton gluttony.

To be fair, lets compare some current GM concepts with what they are actually manufacturing (because, disapointingly, nothing today, compares with the great cars from the 40s, 50s and 60s).  

First, lets gaze upon some of their recent concepts (to give credit to their actual designers who seem to have. at least, a half-brain amongst them somewhere), that are actually worthy of desire.  These concepts are so beautiful that I can only wonder that GM is so weighed-down with corruption and idiocy that they never produced them (I'll never believe that, one of the most powerful manufacturers on the planet, GM, is not able to manufacture a beautiful car (of every segment) that is not only worthy of desire, but is also reliable and able to deliver relative performance and affordability).  

 Look at this!  It's the 2006 Chevrolet WTCC Ultra concept.  This thing is one of the most beautiful modern-day concepts I have ever seen!  WHERE IS IT?

 Chevy was so gung-ho about the WTCC Ultra that they even made a working, race-car variant and raced it!

 Here is the 2007 Chevrolet Beat concept.  It's a fantastic, little B-segment grocery-getter!  The proportions, details and the entire gestalt are almost perfect!  It's a miniaturized version of the WTCC Ultra.

 The Beat concept is so cool looking that it was included in the 2009 Transformer movie as the Transformer named Skids!  

 This a companion car to the Beat.  It's the 2007 Chevrolet Groove, a beautifully created mini-box car.  It's seriously cool!

 The 2010 GMC Granite.  This is one of the most beautiful and industrial looking mini-untility vehicles ever.  GM announced, at least twice, that they were going to production with it.  It was canceled twice, as well.  Who knows why, they would never produce such a beautiful, potentially block-busting concept as this. At one point they even toyed with the idea of making it a dastardly Cadillac.

The 2012 Chevrolet Tru-140s concept.  Amazingly beautiful!  It almost looks like a miniature Lamborghini, it's so cool.  Where is it???


Increasingly, the automobile world has become more mundane with their concepts.  People will take note that the current cropping of "concepts" will appear more and more like production models.  I can only wonder that this is an attempt to make the masses think that great design is a thing of the past and the "people" must think more about "connectivity", "green" and "safety" than about what is actually desirable, worth money and attention.

Once again, "I'll never believe that, one of the most powerful manufacturers on the planet, GM, is not able to manufacture a beautiful car (of every segment) that is not only worthy of desire, but is also reliable and able to deliver relative performance and affordability"


Now, lets look at what Chevrolet is actually bringing to the people in 2014.  Mind you, this is eight years AFTER the 2006 WTCC Ultra concept.  


The 2014 Chevrolet Spark.   HOLY BARF-TASTIC!  What in the world happened to the fabulous 2007 Chevy Beat???

 The 2014 Chevrolet Sonic sedan.  Uuug!  It almost appears as if they dragged some great designer into their studios to design the front only and they smashed it onto the previous failed Chevy Aveo!  If you happen to see some images of their Fisher-Price like instrument cluster you'll gag on vomit.

 The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze.  Why GM, why so ugly!?  In an attempt to wow the current generation of electronic-dependant-brain-numb-clueless-consumers, GM misspells "cruise" in the naming of this generically bland, eye-sore.

 The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu.  The Malibu used to be the top-line variant of the 60s Chevelle.  It has since become its own hideously, ugly model.  Placed between the "compact" Cruze and the land-yacht Impala,  in an all but worthless segment, called "mid-size" (the "mid-size" segment, should be the "large-size" segment, in my opinion).

 The 2014 Chevrolet Impala.  Chevy's "large-car" flagship, once a gloriously beautiful and desirable car, the Impala has been dumbed down to the current treacherously, ugly monstrosity.  The ONLY thing it has going for it, is that it's "NEW".  In the USA, all you have to do is declare that something is "NEW" and the masses will sign their life away with abandon (who cars that the previous 50+ year old Impala is infinitely more beautiful than this).

The 2014 Chevrolet Camaro.  This car has a slight amount of desire to it, and is about, the only car, GM has, that is worth money and anybody's attention.  It is about 50% beautiful.  The original Camaro was never any beauty queen,  but it (the original and the current) does have a sense of power and performance about it, which is conveyed quite successfully in the exterior design.

Monday, November 18, 2013

THE CREATION FORMULA

I have for several decades attempted to understand BEAUTY and how to successfully create it in the field of visual arts.  All through art school we learned over and over about the "principles and elements of art".  It was drummed into every fiber of our brains and our mind's eye.  However, when it came to the topic of "beauty", what it was and how to create it, little was said, and much less was understood.

The phrase, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" was always used (and abused) to skirt the issue.  That phrase has more to do with personal taste and preference than it has to do with real beauty.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder to the degree the beholder is unaware of and or tolerates defect.  For beauty is perfection in the assembly of the visual aspects of FUNCTION, PRINCIPLE and ELEMENT.

This leads me to reveal the third realm of the CREATION FORMULA, that being FUNCTION.  Function is intrenched in architectural and product design, and it's hinted at in the visual arts but it is never quite tied together with the "principles" and "elements" and further more it's never pointed out that the  proper integration and understanding of this, along with hard work, skill and talent, will undoubtably enable the artist to reliably and predictably create works of never ending beauty.   In fact so sound and stable is this formula that it can be applied to every aspect of life.  Whatever one wants to create, that will be at the center of the formula.  All that needs to be done is to replace the "elements" with the things and materials that are needed for assembly into whatever that final outcome's ingredients are.  For instance, if a "good relation" is the goal then you simply come up with the elements of a good relation such as various things relating to behavior.  If it's a great song that is wanted then the elements would be something on the lines of, tone, pitch, volume, and length.  It can applied to anything that could be created.

Through much tribulation, hard work and a lot of discussion with a colleague and my wife, here, for the win, and the first time ever, is the CREATION FORMULA:
(click the image for a larger version)

"Design is a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose."
-Charles Eames

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Gamble House, 1908. The birth of the California Bungalow style.


A CRITIQUE:

DESCRIPTION:

The Gamble House, also known as David B. Gamble House, is a National Historic Landmark, a California Historical Landmark, and museum in Pasadena, California, USA.
It was designed by brothers Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene of the architectural firm Greene and Greene and constructed 1908–09 as a home for David B. Gamble of the Procter & Gamble company. 
Originally intended as a winter residence for David and Mary Gamble, the three-story Gamble House is commonly described as America's Arts and Crafts masterpiece. Its style shows influence from traditional Japanese aesthetics and a certain California spaciousness born of available land and a permissive climate. The Arts and Crafts Movement in American Craftsman style architecture was focused on the use of natural materials, attention to detail, aesthetics, and craftsmanship. (Wikipedia)

(photo: Charles and Henry Green)
(photo: Martin Green)

CRITIQUE:

On a beauty scale of 1-100 (100 being 100% beautiful) this house is about 70% beautiful.  It is more utilitarian in style and nature.  It's more like a Jeep than a Cadillac or Ferrari in its appearance of beauty.    It is still very neat and the amount and quality of variety, interest and construction are some of the highest of any residential home.  The style is a rugged mash of Swiss and Japanese styling.
The repeating (the house is big enough to enable the, normally low-interest, wood elements to become decorative as the quantity of use increased) wood elements in the rafters, the shingle siding, the windows and its many and varied roofs, give it a decorative quality, which is where this home gets most of its beauty from.  It has a nice symmetrical balance to the gestalt using asymmetry in the particle modules, the right side being two covered porches and the opposite being two stories of rooms.
Besides its inherent beauty, it gets a lot of its value from being the first home of the American Craftsman style, from which the California Bungalow rose.  Many of the later homes of the Bungalow style were imbued with more beauty.

See the link below for more images:
http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/5488347/list/Must-Know-Modern-Homes--The-Gamble-House

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A quest for beauty in visual and physical designs.

Behold and beware, ugliness not only doesn't sell (Raymond Loewy), it kills, just not as quickly as poor engineering, bad science or corrupt leaders. It is the result of either a careless, lazy, untrained and unskilled people or irresponsible, reckless and malicious people more concerned with Salesmanship-and-Marketing than Responsibility and Stewardship. People either don't know or they are destructive in their creations which lack beauty.

"Nothing is too beautiful" (Ettore Bugatti) reveals a truth that beauty can be measured, quantified and calculated.  It transcends environment, culture, religion, race, gender, personal preference and taste.  It is universal.

That "Form follows function" (Louis Sullivan) leads to beauty in design. "All things that function well are visually harmonious, or if the function is respected, then the harmony of forms will materialize automatically.
"In fact it seems that there cannot be beauty without order. The threshing machine performs in a marvelous fashion, each of its parts designed perfectly, though the whole isn't much to look at. Why? Because a machine gives the impression of being complicated.
"That is, I believe, the true response to the theories of the industrial designer. It seems that, more than the aesthetic Function itself, Simplicity is the deciding factor in the aesthetic equation. Beauty from Function and from Simplification.
"Moreover, in its tribute to beauty, industrial design pays in another way as well. It constitutes a wise investment because it favors what will sell." (Raymond Loewy).

Beauty brings, promises and is a visual and mechanical manifestation of performance, durability, frugality, value, hope, happiness and life.