Emmanuel Quartey

Curious about cities, patterns, media, and marginalia.
“ All organizing is science fiction. What does a world without poverty look like? What does a world without prisons look like? What does a world with everyone having enough food and clothing look like? We don’t know. It’s science fiction, and it is as foreign to us as the Klingon homeworld (which is called Q’onos in case you were wondering). But being able to envision it and imagine it means we can begin seeing the steps it would take to move us there. ”

What do car designers have in common with horse breeders and horticulturalists?

Bloomberg Businessweek has a short profile of Mitja Borket, the guy who designed Porsche’s latest addition to its product line - the Macan.

Something struck me about the language used here:

As a category, the crossover is already popular among women and young urban types and is one of the hottest segments in the industry. Twenty years ago, there was no such thing. The Subaru Outback, which first hit showrooms in 1994, was the closest relative. A strange mutation in the evolution of the automobile, it sold well and hinted at the species to come. In the first half of this year, one in five vehicles sold in the U.S. was a crossover, according to Bloomberg data.




I like to think this language reveals something about the way in which car designers think about their craft. It’s almost as if they have more in common with fruit tree grafters and animal breeders than graphic designers and architects.

When you’re in the business of sculpting literally tons of metal into miracles of precision engineering, you probably think about the creative process a little differently.

Now I’m wondering what it would mean for other creative fields to adopt a similar way of thinking about their own work.

What would it mean, if, like a horse breeder, a user interface designer had to make design decisions based on some concept of pedigree? If literally every intervention had a gestation period of many months or even years?

What would it look like in the other direction? If a car design were able to iterate as quickly as a graphic designer, how would that change the way she works? What are the supply chain implications?

Or is this not even a useful line of inquiry? You could argue that it’s foolish to attempt to introduce something of the industrial designer’s process into the graphic designer’s method, because they deal with entirely different sorts of material and legal constraints…

Mk - one more addition to the things-that-made-me-go-huh pile.

*hits publish*

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