I must appologise for things being a little quiet on the DownsideUpDesign front.
At relatively late notice I was fortuitous enough to gain press accreditation (yes, I’m now a fully accredited journalist with the IFJ) for the Frankfurt Motor Show, known in German as the IAA, or Eeeee Ahhh Ahhh (which always sounds vaguely pornographic).
So while you, dear reader, have been wondering weather I’d left the mortal coil to pilot that great big Espada in the sky, I was wandering hither and thither around what is possibly the worlds largest motor show. Sitting on a site 1.2Km long by .5Km wide, if it weren’t for the press cars and their beautiful drivers, I’d have legs like Arnie.
Three 7 am starts and 2 am finishes later I can safely say I conquered it. What have I got to show for it? Well apart from some fabulous discussions with designers, PR types and general good guys that I hope to elaborate on here and elsewhere, I managed to amass around 4,000 photos and my first ever videos. Rather than bore you with all of them (I do get a little carried away at times…) I’ve put together a small selection of 384 piccies on my Flickr page. It’s a bit of a random bunch and the analysts amongst you will be able to tell far to much about me than I care to know. Nevertheless, take a look and let me know how you found the show through my eyes.
Normally I’d say shut your eyes, put on your best headphones and just revel in the music but when the visuals are so…hmm…delicately stunning, keep your eyes peeled. Fairly simple in creation as far as these things go (it’s just After Effects and Particular), the emotional pull is nevertheless strong.
It’s little bit sad but full of hope. Quite appropriate really.
Time for some gratuitous (and somewhat NSFW) video content.
I’ve been bobbing my head to this mighty fine take on Lady Gaga’s Poker Face for a while now, but I’ve only just come across the beautiful, cinematically slick film clip thanks to NewWork. It’s almost Felliniesque (massive call, I know) in that you could grab most frames and they’d be beautiful images in their own right.
Totally made my morning. Now, if only somebody could tell me what the the lovely turbine-lamped cabriolet is, my day will be complete. Over to you, fellow carspotters…
[Update: The killjoys at YoutTube won't let me embed the video, so click on through to watch it there]
[Update 2: Thanks to @michaelbanovsky (you can read his excellent auto writing here), we've now solved the mystery of the sweet blue cab. It's a Dodge Dart GT, a '64 by the looks of the grille. I can sleep easy now!]
[Update 3: Thanks to the industrious @bjkraal who actually emailed some mates in the States (pow!) and then found a lovely brown Dart on the BrownCar blog. I'll take one brown and one blue please...]
Having enjoyed a lovely lunch with the even more lovely Lady Nogrady in Marylebone, we set off to find a place for a coffee.
Low and behold, parked with impunity in the Baker Street bus lane, was this wonderfully sinister Ferrari 599.
Normally not much a fan of the new Fazzas (has there been a truly poetic stallion since the F355 or 456?), this machine drew me in like a moth to the matt black flame. No mere wrapping job, this appeared to be a full re-spray. It was also fitted with a (relatively) subtle carbon fiber body kit for good measure.
Seems the traffic cops were similarly attracted, judging by the growing pile of parking tickets under the wiper.
The first architect I fell in love with as a kid was Frank Lloyd Wright, shortly followed by his Australian-based understudy, the remarkable Walter Burley Griffin.
Growing up in the leafy, undulating suburbs of Sydney, where houses often perch on steep slopes or wrap themselves around sandstone outcrops, I had an instant affinity for houses like the seminal Falling Water and the Ennis-Brown house. Such was my love that I even designed and produced, in my final year of high-school, an FLW/WBG inspired garden lamp (the only – heavily cropped – pic I could find).
So imagine my surprise and delight at discovering that Lego, in collaboration with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Brickstructures, Inc. to produce Lego sets of Falling Water and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum!
If anybody’s wondering, I have a birthday next week…
As a kid the Paolo-Martin penned Modulo, though only ever seen in books, scared the living daylights out of me. It still does.
I simply couldn’t understand how it could look so otherworldly and still be a car. There is a latent, alien malevolence to it that continues to send chills up my spine. It’s hard to believe, slightly dated details aside, that this Ferrari 512 S-based monster slithered into the world at the 1970 Geneva show.
The question is, seeing as I don’t think there’s been a concept as outrageous since, who’s going to top it?
Truth be told modern Lambos don’t turn me on much as vehicles for (dreaming about) owning. I’m much more likely to be found thinking indecently about an azure S2 Espada, brown/bronze LP400 Countach or, of course, the Miura in any colour going.
On the other hand, the epic Murciélago’s status as a piece of sculpture is undoubted, something that was confirmed as I rolled through the press images from the Shanghai motor show.
The above shot – heavily cropped from the image below – shows the superb game of peek-a-boo that the designers have played with Thor’s voicebox, otherwise known as the Murci’s V12.
It’s just a pity that the photographer’s assistant forgot to give the louvres a once-over with some Windex…
I’ve often wondered what the rear tyres of a Bentley Arnage (with an insane 1,000 Nm of torque) might go through during a full-throttle assault on the redline. Thanks to this video, found via Gizmodo, I can wonder no more. .47 seconds is a particular treat.
I intend to write a longer piece about this car over the coming week but I wanted to share some of my pics of the car with you.
As I’ve gone back over the shoot and my memories of driving it, one word kept coming back to me: Simplicity. And it’s not simplicity in a cheap, cut-price version of something else kind of way. This is satisfyingly simple.
Damn WordPress wont let me embed Vimeo movies, but just trust me on this one and follow the link. Scintillation is a new movie made up of 35,000 photos by Xavier Chassaing, a film director from Paris.
The use of depth of field really plays with your perception of space and the flame mapping on the orchid is one of the most decadent images I have seen in a long time. In fact, it reminds me a lot of a project I worked on a few years ago.
I'm Drew Smith and I'm an ethnographer and strategist. By day I shape culture and strategy at Seren. By night I sleep (mostly). And once a month, I host an event called Rising Minds, at Shoreditch House.
DownsideUpDesign is a place for me to collect stuff that I like, often love and sometimes hate for safe keeping. All views represented here are mine and mine alone and do not represent those of anyone else.
Get in touch at drewpasmith (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet me (@drewpasmith) to rant, contribute or collaborate!
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