Most of us think of 3D software being used to create special effects for movies and television, or for things like product design and architecture. It’s always nice when you see someone using it to create art. Chris Labrooy is a designer and artist that is doing just that. After graduating from the Royal College of Art with a masters in product design, he began moving beyond using 3D software as a visualization tool. Labrooy saw an opportunity to use his tool set as an artistic creative medium, where he could take everyday objects and push them into new sculptural forms. Case in point his series “Auto Aerobics” where he has taken 1970’s era American heavy metal and turned it into something completely new and different.
This afternoon my friend Tim and I spent a few hours at the Art of the Car Concours on the grounds of the Kansas City Art Institute. The annual event is a scholarship fund raiser for the school, and over the last seven years has grown into a world class automotive event. The two of us spent a hot humid summer afternoon, walking through 100 or so vehicles taking photos, admiring the design styling, engineering, and distinction of the cars shown. At one point both of us commented on how each car, each brand, had unique looks that set it apart from it’s contemporaries.
Both of us remarked that in todays world, most people can’t tell a Nissan from a Honda, from a Volkswagen, from a Chevy, from a Hyundai, from a Kia, from a Ford (although Ford is arguably ahead of the curve in distinctive styling). Aside from a few marquee brands, or higher end autos, most look the same, and no one making a car for the masses puts the attention to detail in things like badging any more. Looking at a 49 Ford coupe, and 66 Covair it made me long for the days when each car brand looked distinct, and the exterior styling was as important as the creature comforts like iPhone connectivity that we lust after today.
Below is a sampling of some of the photos that I took today. Realistically some of these shots are for cars that would cost a small fortune in todays dollars. None the less, the attention to detail, the quality of materials, the small things, are what made these cars part of the golden age of automobile design. Personally I wish the big three, Ford, Chrysler, and Chevy would step up to the plate and bring this kind of styling back. Raise the bar, set a new standard based on vintage design styling that was in many ways simply better. No I don’t want the old school technology. What I want is a car that looks as cool as these, with all the comforts my 2013 model offers me today.
I’m currently on location in Santa Barbara filming and such, but while taking a break I thought I’d post this interesting video from BMW. This isn’t new, the event actually happened last November. I missed it when it dropped on YouTube and my friend Paul happened to show it to me today. This is a great use of video, and technology to promote a product that won’t even arrive for another 12 months.
For auto enthusiast Petrolicious is a website that you really need to bookmark. For those of us that love classic cars, and well made short films, Petrolicious Vimeo channel is a must. The five minute short below, is an incredible story of an Italian man’s 1939 Peugeot, his restoration of it, and a discovery that changes everything. The short film is a great story, complimented by nice editing, cinematography, and post work. If you get a chance, watch the other wonderful short films on Vimeo here.