Draft boards for the D&AD project. A few minor changes are yet to be made but it is nearly there.
My next side project as requested by a Mr Lynch is an Audi Quattro. It wasn’t specified if it was to be in Group B or Ashes to Ashes flavour so I opted for my favourite of the two, the Group B monster. I am putting in more detail into this one compared to the Escort and it is looking quite good so far.
Bang & Olufsen. A Danish company founded in 1925 who produce extremely high quality and beautifully designed electronic goods such as sound systems, televisions and telephones. They have always been at the front of the line, or very near the front, when it came to sound quality and the general experience of using their products.
Up until very recently, my only experiences of their products was either ogling them through the window of the B&O shop in Perth, or at the home of a family friend who had one of their television. They certainly could capture the imagination of the user whether or not they have used one of their products before. About 3 or 4 weeks ago, I decided to purchase my first Bang & Olufsen product. Something which I had been wanting for a long time, and something which I knew would be £90 well spent. A pair of A8 earphones.
When they arrived, there was the usual sense of excitement you get when unboxing or unpacking something for the first time. The anticipation, the tension, the unrivalled sense of proud ownership. Holding the earphones in my hands, you could tell alot of time had been spent on materials, and build. Absolutely brilliant. The moving mechanisms on them are extremely smooth too. The pneumatic type arm which extends the height of the earphone is like cutting butter with a blow torch, effortless. The same goes for rotating the earpiece and the top ear support component.
Alot of time was clearly spent making these earphones stand out. They are not the same as all the other earphones which are pretty much one size fits all and don’t, these ones really do fit all thanks to the huge range of movement in them.
Overall, I am pleased to say that they are one of the best purchases I have ever made, and they have been very well used over the past few weeks already. Here’s hoping that they last a very long time too, and may this be the first of many B&O products to come into my possession.
Whilst I am going to try and keep most of my posts on here design related, there may be other topics which crop up from time to time if I feel the need to express something. However, I shall endeavor to try and reel it back in to something ‘designish’, since that is what I study.
I have had my driving license for almost 2 years now, and in that time I haven’t exactly driven a lot of cars in that time, I think the total count is 2, both of which have been company cars belonging to my dad, so obviously I don’t have the sort of gravitas of commenting on cars as the likes of motoring journalists. My opinions on cars are purely based on looks, and experiences I have had with the manufacturer in terms of in motorsport and other road users. However, of the 2 cars I have had the privilege of driving, there have been massive differences, yes mainly in the driving aspect, but also in the living with, and adapting aspect of the two cars and this is what I am going to briefly discuss.
The first car, a 2005 Volvo V50 2.0D, the first car I drove, and definitely my favourite of any cars my dad has owned and the second, current car, a 2007 Ford Mondeo ST 2.2 TDCI, quicker and bigger than the Volvo. Whilst both share many of the same underpinnings due to Volvo being under Ford ownership, it was clear to see that it was two completely different design philosophies which created them. The elegant, crisp, Swedish simplicity of the V50 was a joy to behold on the interior whilst its exterior was beautifully understated. The Mondeo, whilst a higher spec model, unarguably German with its high quality finish and sporting credentials had a rather handsome exterior (albeit, not as pretty as the Volvo in my opinion).
Despite this not being a car review, I fear it is going that way, but I shall continue and try and pull through. The following saying which I am undoubtably going to misquote shows what my main thoughts are for both the cars. “You don’t realise what you have until it is gone” The Ford, whilst being fantastically capable and having more ‘toys’, just doesn’t hold a candle to the sheer volume of thought that went into the Volvo by its designers and it wasn’t until the keys were handed back on the Swede and time had been spent in the German that things were picked up and compared even the little things. Everything in the Volvo is phenomenally ergonomic, you know instinctively where everything is on the centre console, or on the stalks behind the steering wheel and the seats are a pleasure to sit in for long periods of time. The ST on the other hand is more confusing, yes that is in part due to having used another car for 4 years, but it all seems more cluttered and there are times, even now, 4 or 5 months of having the car that I don’t know how to use something, or find something, the cruise control for instance, haven’t got a clue, whereas in the Volvo it was instinctive.
Overall, due to my age and the public’s opinion to my age group, I should prefer the Mondeo with it’s bigger engine and its potential to go ’6 millionty-gazillion miles per hour’, but I don’t, I prefer the Volvo. Mainly this is due to first impressions, something which everyone makes and is judged by with people and with products, it is something which designers need to think about when creating something as they could easily ruin it. This isn’t to say the Ford is bad, it has its fair share of good points and the Volvo has it’s bad points. But it was first impressions which have made up my mind, and have ultimately created something else which is strived for by companies, brand loyalty. Every company has their own followers, numbers varying greatly in size, and one of the things they are won over by is first impressions, and it’s the little things which help with this.
Do I see myself owning a Volvo in the future? Yes. The folk in Gothenburg have got themselves another fan.