Drew Smith: ethnographer, strategist and host of Rising Minds

DSUD Podcast #2: Joe Simpson on the Geneva Motorshow Pt. 2 – Concepts

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After another epic round of dragging and dropping in iMovie, here’s part 2 of the DSUD podcast covering the Geneva motor show.

This week Joe and I discuss the Alfa Romeo Pandion and 2uettottanta, Citroen Survolt, Seat IBE, Peugeot SR-1, Mercedes F800 Style, Hyundai i-Flow and *deep breath*, the Porsche 918.

We also have a brief chat at the end, trying to place the Geneva show in the broader context of where the automotive industry is heading and, more importantly, where it could, and indeed, should be heading.

Category: Podcast

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7 Responses

  1. Excellent show! I may not be an automotive designer – I do automotive advertising instead – yet I found your thoughts and insights very interesting and definitely an unique, educated perspective that’s enjoyable.

    Keep up the great work.

  2. Massimo Prando says:

    well…rather mysterious Massimo..(now you got also my surname)…
    That’s sounded quite good actually!
    Felt like a Gladiator!

    Another 2 couples of note before going back to design business; 1) this second podcast (of some aspect of it) really felt a radio program; congratulation
    2) the intro was again great hilarious and exhilarating…and yes although i had imaged what it was, i google HELLO.jpg..

    Back to business:
    Alfa Pandion: i agree with all you said and i already wrote in the post what i think of it (substantially is a SHIT). Funny enough on CDN there is an article about it with title: “Would have Nuccio Bertone approved?”…of course not for god sake. But then he would have not approved even the Mantide (that was more a marketing operation rather than good design; I hope that the design community start to realize that).
    But this bring us strait to the real point i want to make (since you have shown also the Pinin concept); and it is the significant and intrisic difference between Bertone (and many other CARROZZIERI around the world) and Pininfarina. Pinifarina concepts in history may not have been the most advance, and of course like in any studio sometimes something wrong comes out also from the CAMBIANO gate, but the flavour and the essence is always classy, simple, attrctive nad very rarely out of place. I am not saying this because I worked there in the past for nearly 6 years, but because that is what define the studio; where single protagonism is put aside to create unambiguous beauty. As you said in its simplicity that what Duettottanta does.

    Citroen Survolt: in some how, it felt a “mini” Bugatti (maybe is the big wing); ultimately not great design but great detailing.

    Seat IBE: see dedicated post. But even more than pointless is simply meaningless. Where the creative has gone during that project…to WC..

    Peugeot SR-1: guys you said it all correct, elegant, detailed, good step forward…etc…but then can someone explain me what is the meaning of that axed in the door (please do not tell me that’s sculptural)?

    Mercedes F800: just let say that designers are keep jumping around different companies re-proposing the same stuff all the time. And as we know the copy is never good as the original.
    In this case the guy that designed the BMW CONCEPT CS decided to move to MERC, and make the same car with a different grill.
    But what is wonder me is that the management a Mercedes let these people go around with one idea and then even make in it without nobody in Mercedes BOARD say anything.
    I will talk about this later; but Mercedes is not Hyundai.
    Result: (as someone mysterious as suggested to me) we have a Mercedes that it is a BMW but without the finesse and the judgement. Overdone. Overloaded.
    STRANGE STRANGE INDUSTRY, this car industry..

    Hyundai I-Flow: I think you already comment my view well enough on the podcast plus there is my piece on the dedicated post, so i do not want to take to much space, but i want to add 1 thing:
    to me is always been clear that Mazda would not be able to the most out of NAGARE concept, simply because they have not conceptualized it in first place. It was not a company move to have a new design language and SENKU, was “mazda” enough to move it forward. But then, something that was given to them was too good, to simply not use it.

    The shame is not that Hyundai took it and copied (even if bad), the shame is on Mazda that never really inquired; but we all know to well enough the amount of ego and arrogance that goes around design studio…right?

    Porsche 918: simple…PORSCHE’O’GRAPHY…but the word is taken from Jeremy Clarkson (Top Gear 2005).

    OPEL Flextreme: and at last we hugely disagree.
    Forget to movable aero parts, that just make it look like a toy; the front is coming from a SLS Merc…but the all car in reality (proportions, volumes) is a copy of the PININFARINA SINTESI. How can we miss this?

    Looking at how the industry is behaving and how poorly is performing urge a serious article on how the manufacturer are messing around and confusing:

    Brand awareness with brand recognition
    Platform sharing with platform re-usage
    Badge engineering with badge swapping
    Concept definition with concept recycle

  3. Drew says:

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks so much for leaving a comment. It’s always great to have new people reading, watching and commenting and adding to the dialogue. I’ve been reading your blog for ages and, similarly, while I’m not from your background, I constantly find cross-over between our worlds of branding, advertising and design. Cheers, and I hope I can keep you coming back!


  4. Drew says:

    Hey Max,

    More blinding input, and so bang on. It’s interesting to note that the article on CDN regarding the Pandion mentions ‘certain blogs’ that derided the car as derivative… I wonder which blog that was? Having said that, the article was, as always, well reasoned in its argument. Props to Nick Hull for that.

    Regarding the Flextreme, I really do see where you’re coming from and I’ll happily admit that I didn’t think of the Sintesi in relation to this car. I do feel, however, that your lumping of the car with the SLS is a little unfair. There’s far more graphic interest in the face of the Flextreme and, extending into the future, I can see some very interesting DRG solutions for Opel stemming from the concept.


  5. Massimo Prando says:

    hey Drew,

    yes I read the article, it was with good argument. The substance, although a bit more polite, did not change much.

    But if we are all fair and square (and i have to repeat myself here) the Mantide expressed the same childishness, but no one rather than 2 voices made a statement there.

    I have catch you out with the Sintesi, haven’t I?
    Why i am critic about the Flextreme: is coming 2 years after a similar concept, and the only thing it adds is silly aero movable parts. Simply not necessary. Simply not enough.

  6. flo says:

    I agree with Massimo on the Flextreme. The front reminded me a lot of the Benz.
    It also was really not very well presented. Seemed like they were not convinced themselves.
    Sorry to say this – but for me it was almost a bit in the Seat zone to be honest.

    Speaking of Opel – did you notice the Vauxhall Meriva?
    The one with the Opel badge on the left-hand drive steering wheel…

    Really enjoyed the podcasts so far.
    Keep up the good work! Best from Italy!

  7. Joe Simpson says:

    Thanks guys (all) for the comments on both podcasts, really pleased that they seem to have gone down well.

    Massimo and Flo – I can see where you’re coming from on the Flextreme… but while I think that you make a good point about the aero elements Massimo, in a way, I was pleased that someone was actually expressing them ‘honestly’ (even if you think the overall look isn’t great), to the extent that if we’re looking for a language to define hybrid/green futures, the Opel gets closer than the Porsche for me. Both of you make good points, though – I hadn’t clocked the Sintesi or the Benz similarities, but not you mention them, I can see where you’re coming from.

    Thanks again for the comments! Cheers

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