Sunday, November 27, 2011

Smart's future vision

In an industry that's highly regulated, male-dominated, and generally a little bit on the conservative side, Smart has already proven to be able to step into a new paradigm. In this paradigm, cars are not so much designed as closed spaces of comfort on the inside, and impressive or intimidating displays of a static personal identity on the outside. Cars become minimal, open, friendly to all, shared, and flexible. The Smart Fortwo, in my eyes, has been the first global quantum leap towards this paradigm.

Smart has of course been looking to extend their philosophy further, and last summer they came out with an electric concept called the 'Forvision'. At the time I didn't think it was interesting to blog about because we all know about electric cars, and the form language lacked consistency. With the Forvision, Smart made a move towards cars that look more like intelligent, living organisms, than utilitarian products. But they completely overdid the design of course, and should probably have simply gotten rid of the idea of those angular, dented surfaces. These work well in some sculptural objects, but only when done extremely masterfully.

Now Smart has taken the prize in the LA Auto Show design competition, with a concept of a smart car that can switch modes. It can park by standing on its nose and hovering, it can fly, and even climb walls. What's more, Smart has taken a step in not putting the design of the car itself in the spotlights, but merging it into a larger, movie-like scenario. Watch it here:

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