Thursday, October 9, 2008

Nu Wave Nuevo and the importance of the Polygon

Looking at the recent Paris Motor Show I was quite impressed with the wealth of ideas that came from it this year. In particular the array of innovation that stemmed from the interior design proposals in many concept vehicles. One area in particular was the array of complex surfacing happening within these cars. It’s almost like we are reaching Art Nuevo levels of artistic detailing again, which has come full circle from the time of streamlining principals that followed Art Nuevo and current obsessions with clean minimalist design. I feel it’s a trend that’s happening firstly from designers forever developed understanding of form and how it can be manipulated and applied. Secondly through the growing importance of computer aided design. Computer modeling programs now allow such a greater freedom to experiment in form finding, which is now partly leading to this great execution of form. In particular is the emergence of Polygon Modelling. There is a large selection of software out there that specialises in this field of modelling (Maya, Cinema 4D, 3D Studio Max) that’s usually associated with Computer animation, movie special effects and gaming. Over time as these programs get easier to use I think they could become almost the tool of choice for designers as they choose to think and work more in 3D. With the new edition of Maya 2009 it’s almost like you have a virtual ball of sculpey that you pull and push to create a form very intuitively. Where the process now is that we sketch first, render then finally model. These processes will eventually become more integrated, where you have the scenario in that you make a quick model, possibly add some quick Photoshop then present. All this can be done in a very short time frame and the form is almost fully resolved. For me the next logical step after this, would be the scenario where rapid prototype technology would be developed to a point where it is quite accessible and affordable almost to the same degree as a standard printer is these days. So instead of making a large plot of work, you simply print your new proposal. I see this as the impending future and a situation we will be looking at over the next 20 or so years. After seeing the latest concept on display at Paris maybe we got a little glimpse into what is possible for the future…

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