Industrial Design

Details, Details – VW Golf

golf rear

Well, look what we have here! One of those cool little auto body design details I was lamenting had become extinct. Moreover, it has an uncanny similarity to my suggestion for the Ford F150. While I doubt I had any influence on the brilliant team in Wolfsburg, the similarity in concept is striking. There is one major difference however. The logo conceals the rear camera which activates while the vehicle is in reverse, not the latch handle like I had suggested for the truck.



Pretty cool. Another nifty little detail is in that body crease you see on either side of the logo/camera cutout, but I’ll let you research that one yourself.


Images from VW


“Uncomfortable Design”



I began following Paris based design group “flashy fish” earlier this year on Facebook. Generally, they have pretty neat stuff, but one of their most recent posts was a series of images by Greece based designer Katerina Kamprani entitled “The Uncomfortable” and it immediately becomes apparent why.








Kamprani states: “[I] decided to create and design for all the wrong reasons. Vindictive and nasty? Or a helpful study of everyday objects? The goal is to re- design useful objects making them uncomfortable but usable and maintain the semiotics of the original item.”

Semiotics is such a great way to describe what is going on with these images. If you don’t believe everything we touch is loaded with meaning ingrained deep within our subconscious, maybe this image will help convince you:


Maybe it’s because I’m a materials guy, but for this rendering in particular, the material and construction are so improbable as to completely negate the objects usefulness. Much like verbal language, materials and products especially, come with layers and layers of nuance and tradition ingrained in every society for roughly eons. Then someone goes and smashes all those things to hell and our brains don’t quite know what to do with what they see. These images do that.

Similar to the works of Tobias WongMilton Glaser or maybe just “The Most Useless Machine Ever“, “The Uncomfortable” can at first glance appear to be playful, ephemeral thoughts that somehow became images. A second look however reveals a deeper message spelled out by deconstructing something that we rarely think about and rearranging it.  We recognize it, but the reorganization sends us a different message than we are used to hearing. They’re like visual anagrams that also happen to be double entendres. The minimalism of the compositions just reenforce their message. “The Uncomfortable” also has a Facebook page with uncomfortable findings beyond Katerina’s own work.




How I fixed my 1990 BMW marker light

I broke the clip slot on the driver’s side marker light of Isis (my 1990 BMW 325is), and I didn’t want to buy a whole new assembly ($32+ shipping). So, I modeled the broken portion of the assembly from the passengers side clip which is still in tact and 3D printed it.

I removed both assemblies, and measured the passenger’s side assembly with a cheap gauge and guesstimated what I couldn’t measure. I modeled the section in Autodesk Fusion for Mac and uploaded the model to Shapeways.


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Details, Details – Ford F150

This being far and away the most popular image on my Facebook page, I am going to start with it.

What happened to all the cool little auto body details? The ones like a gas filler cap behind a tail light? Or… OK there have to be some others, I just can’t think of them right now. I was calling this “If SEIZMIC design had anything to do with it”, but I think I’m going to start calling it “Details, Details”. Way easier. In these posts I will seek to rectify, with Photoshop, what I consider to be glaringly obvious auto body styling oversights. Things that are so obviously out of whack they make me actually facepalm when I see them driving down the road… Actually, when they are in a parking lot. Facepalming while driving is just dangerous. So here we go; first installment:

Ford F150

Images via Motor Trend


So here we have the enduring Ford F150. Big, strong, rugged, what’s not to love right? While cool little body details might not exactly be the typical realm of proper trucks, This model has such nice, clean lines, there is one little detail that just strikes me as so completely obvious… Just so completely, insanely obvious… So utterly, bafflingly, well, just look:

2012-ford-f-150-logo handle

There, much better! Was that so hard? It would probably even SAVE Ford money. Now what’s not to love?

More to come!