Whilst out shooting backplates for some still images, I took the opportunity to collect some for some drive promotional pieces.
These particular shots lent themselves to some ideas we had been dicussing in the studio.
See some of our recent work here CGI STUDIO
The Royal College of Art vehicle designers were showing off their degree projects this week eager to explain the thinking behind their concepts.
Following on from last year, the demise of the steering wheel continues as most of the concepts looked to the autonomous ‘driving’ future.
The devil makes work for idle hands …… so what are we going to be doing as we recline in our vehicle.
Well, everything from looking after our new born baby to the wellbeing of our mental health. At this time reflecting on the evening, there was a positive message coming from the designers – very specific ideas, in-depth research and with an optimistic view for the vehicle’s future and its role in society.
For the Drive design team the talking point was Ken Zheng’s striking concept, not because of the type of vehicle, but the bold statement created through controlled lines and complex surfaces that appear deceptively simple.
If you have time get along to see the show, as well as the other course work – it is certainly worth a visit.
RCA is open to the public from June 23rd to 2nd July.
Drive were invited to attend the National Transport Design Centre opening ceremony, with a private viewing of the Coventry Automotive Design Degree Show being arranged before the event.
At the degree show the quality of the student’s design work was very high, with the diverse range of transportation projects catching the eye. I truly believe that the quality level overall was the best in recent years and a tribute to the designer’s hard work and the course tutors’ support.
The limited time available to view and be able to talk with the students before being transported to the NTDC, means a return visit will be required to fully appreciate everyone’s efforts. For those we didn’t get the chance to speak to on the night I apologise.
Meanwhile on the other side, as the day entered the twilight zone, Jaguar’s Ian Callum and Jodie Kidd cut the ribbon to officially launch the National Transport Design Centre – NTDC. The vision of the facility is to be recognised as a world leader in understanding the factors which influence transport design. Quite an ambition, but with the centre’s facilities and attendees from industry that included, Martin Darbyshire of Tangerine, Geely’s Guy Burgoyne, Pratap Bose and Martin Ulharik from TATA and Anthony Kenny-Williams from SAIC amongst others all making the right noises, hopefully an achievable one.
I would like to thank everyone involved in the event for inviting us and making the evening such a success.
I often get reminded, here at Drive, that design is all about opinion, so here’s mine on the dark and scary world of job applications. So you can take some of it on board, all of it on board or none at all and prove me wrong.
It’s the age old and favourite past time of anyone seeking a career in the automotive industry, the application phase. From designers to alias modellers, we are all aware that our industry doesn’t tend to favour the conventional CV and cover letter with a careful placement of buzz words/phrases like ‘I can manage a team of people and take on individual responsibilities’. Although these are areas we all have to consider, at the end of the day, the dreaded ‘P’ word is what we are all thinking right now….your Portfolio. So let’s start with my do’s and don’ts of the most important aspect of an application.
First of all, know who you are applying to, if all you have is speed boats and lawn mowers in your portfolio then I would say it is quite rare that an automotive studio will consider you. Research the studio / brand and try your best to think of what they might look for in a candidate.
“You are only as good as your worst piece of work”. This cannot be said enough, and I wish someone had told me this at university too! As a designer especially, your portfolio will mainly be put under the eyes of other designers, we love looking at them, we want to be excited, we want to see that sketch or render that inspires us and then we will want you! So let‘s throw away lifeless package drawings of translucent, colour filled boxes that say “batteries” or “motors”, and the 97.5 percentile Dutch males that you’ve squashed into your vehicle, we can save all this for when we actually have to face reality, when designing a real car for manufacture (and you may not even have to worry about this).
Keep your projects to a minimum, we see 56 page portfolios with about 10 projects in. These are too big to keep/capture our attention for the period of time it would take to digest that amount of information / wade through it. We are designers ourselves and therefore have to design things and unfortunately you can’t spend all day every day looking at portfolios! Now this is the hard bit, discarding older projects as your skills have improved …. nearly impossible to do sometimes as you probably hold emotions for each project as if they were your own child. They aren’t your children and they don’t have emotions, cut them out and be brutal. Do it, cut it down, get through it. Even if you are left with 3 projects, this will the make us think that you can do everything of this level.
From my own experience as a Coventry graduate, cut out the following 1. Clay head project 2. Any ergonomics based project with lights that reflect your mood 3. An alias model or render which is then repeated in different colours to show colour choices up to 5-6 times (padding out your portfolio?).
Variations of design work. The tricky creative taboo topic, difficult to answer without causing a whole world of design debates and potential Ted talks animosity establishing what design is and how we should approach it. Try to mix it up, don’t just have 3 projects of space ships and fantastic speed painting art work, show that side of you by all means it’s great to see, however try and include some good old fashioned automotive design, displaying an understanding of surfacing, brand interpretation and proportion over 4 conventional wheels.
Your portfolio should be an extension of yourself, it should be presented in a way that you want it to be. Your style should be natural rather than something that is forced. Always be honest with the way that you work, whether you are all about hand sketching or a Photoshop wizard, show how you work as we all have different ways we do things.
A great way to stay sharp, get your name out there and they really keep you on your toes. Local motors, the Michelin design challenge and interiormotives to name but a few, the briefs are usually fun, and if it is not fun then you need to twist their brief to do so! No one wants to design something boring in their spare time. These usually have no engineering requirement, package constraints or a need to convince university tutors to what you are doing, go forth and have fun!
Keep it simple, if you don’t have that much experience it’s ok, we have all been in your shoes at some point and we don’t expect to see years of experience from a student. Whatever you do, please don’t write that you have been ‘freelancing’, it’s a term we all know, love and laugh about, and it means you are probably skint after uni, living at home with your parents with a remedial part time job doing your portfolio and design competitions of an evening whilst your parents tell you that you should start thinking about getting into a different career.
My last thought on this topic, which I could probably continue to preach about for another hour whilst I annoy my collegues by seemingly moaning endlessly is this …. the self-rating skill charts!
Now I’m not sure what the universities have been preaching to the students of late, but here’s my number one pointless thing to put in your portfolio if you are applying to be a designer or alias modeller. Grading yourself out of 10, maybe out of 5 stars even, stating how good you are at alias, photoshop, design or sketching. It won’t be right, it will probably annoy someone in the studio that you have sent it to. The idea of your portfolio or data you send is that we will be working this out, and to what level we see you as and if we feel you are right for said particular studio position. Whatever you do, please don’t include ‘football’ as a skill set, to which you then score yourself higher on this than any other design skills. Makes me think you should be a professional footballer instead! Hobbies are acceptable to list, but it is usually quite boring to do so, we would like to see your character in your work.
I hope this helps you in all your applications
Have an opinion
Get a photo of you applying a tape to a clay model
Drink green tea or a lot of coffee
Be protective over your pen
Talk about sketches with emotions and feelings
Moan about all cars on the road
Try as best possible to never mention Steve Jobs in an automotive studio
Never be truly happy with your work
Keep portfolios to no bigger than 5mb (if possible)
Drive look forward to seeing the results!
Aeronautical engineer-turned-artist Brendan Walker the creator of VR Playground, involved Drive in the building of the environments that he then programmed into a virtual reality experience. You put on a virtual reality headset and start to swing, the motion detection matches your inputs and you are transported through the virtual world.
Walker, is one of the worlds created in his VR Playground which you can currently experience at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival.
The diversity of the public enjoying the experience shows the empowerment of Virtual Reality technology.
“The worlds I have created are going to challenge your body and mind,” commented thrill engineer Brendan Walker.
Brendan has taken the forces of the swing and re-engineered or reverse-engineered them create four new virtual worlds where you believe that your body is doing four very different things other than swinging. As a spectator you will think people are just on an ordinary swing but the experiences for people include bouncing like a shuttlecock across buildings, feeling like you are inside a giant wheel rolling through the street and propelling yourself like a jellyfish undulating upwards in the water.
This has been a fascinating project to be involved with. Drive are building on this experience, and hoping to take some of the learning and applying it to the automotive and transportation industries
Brendan Walker – http://www.aerial.fm