Join Gary Hustwit for an in-depth discussion in this video Chris Bangel, part of Objectified.
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- Cars are the biggest and most abundant set of sculptures that we have in contact every day in our lives. Although they're reproduced by machines and their computer milled stamps that make them, actually, every one of them was originally carved by hand by men and women using techniques not a whole lot different than Michaelangelo. Car designers are making extremely dynamic, sexy objects, in theory, but in reality, they're bending metal, plastic, glass.
This isn't like a woman coming down a catwalk where she swish in the dresses and showing a little bit here and there and really getting your eyes to goggle, uh-uh. This thing is frozen in time, which means we have to create it in a way so that you as the observer will look at it and you put the motion into it by the way you scan it because that car has to be a reflection of that emotional energy that you want to see in it.
I believe very strongly in the emotional authenticity of the product. It should reflect what it is. So if the car's a performance object, you should have that feel. It is quite bothersome to me when I see humanistic elements of a car being strangely handled. For instance, cars have a face. Well, you can have lots of faces, but when you put that one face on a car, it's there forever.
It's just one expression and because cars have evolved to having two elements: big tail lights, a license plate, the backs of cars have also evolved a face, also very interesting, and some of those are awfully challenging. How do we solve problems of lightness? How do we solve problems of efficiency? I think these are things that are going to be difficult but we can solve those. But the real challenges of car design, I think, are going to be addressing the future generations' perceptions of what they want cars to be in their lives.
Do they want them to fade into the background and just be there when they need one? Or do they want them to just stand up and be a representative of them, like, basically like we grew up with it? They're kind of like avatars, "I show myself to the outside world through this car." - When you own the car and you drive the car, even your decisions about "Are you going to put a bumper sticker on it?" there's an idea of an audience.
I feel pretty strongly, and this is true not just for cars but for almost everything we buy, that our real audience, quote unquote, is really ourselves and the person that you're really speaking to when you're speaking about "Why me and this car? "Why is this the right car for me?" you're making a statement to yourself about yourself. And it's sort of an abstract way, your sort of you're thinking about what they might be thinking of you and, like, whether or not they like your Obama sticker or your Christian Fish, or whatever it might be.
But the crucial thing is the cell, is your own audience, your own story of, like, "I'm not that guy, "I am that guy," or "that woman." Because the truth is no one cares on the highway.
Objectified is a documentary about industrial design; it's about the manufactured objects we surround ourselves with, and the people who make them. Gary Hustwit, the director of Helvetica, talks with Dieter Rams, Marc Newson, Jonathan Ive, and other renowned designers behind some of the world's most iconic products. lynda.com is proud to offer this film to our members, along with over one hour of online-exclusive bonus movies.