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Wanderlust Automotive 2011


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Wanderlust is Kaleidoscope's quarterly trend report focusing on actionable, tangible patterns that brands can use. In this issue we visited the North American International Auto Show and looked at how some of past trends are continuing to evolve and how new ones are emerging.

Published in: Design, Business, Technology

Wanderlust Automotive 2011

  1. 1. anderlust 2011 North American International Auto Show
  2. 2. Foreword Growing up I just knew I was destined to be a car designer, how could I not? I spent hours in the back of our Peugeot, road-tripping with my family across the country. This gave me an insatiable obsession with travel and cars and I was convinced that I’d end up living in Italy designing for Bertone, Ferrari or Lancia. As my schooling and career progressed,We continue to follow our passion for design, analyzing momentum and interest took me in another direction. Though surrounded in my office bythe similarities and differences as well as the influences structural packaging and medical devices, my love for timeless automotive form, specifically the Porsche 911, will never escape me. In fact, I’ve been on a quest to find thethat fuel it. perfect 1970s 911 for some time. Problem is, I’ve gotten so used to the comforts of modern life. Though perfect to me in almost every way, the car cannot connect to my iPhone when I sit in it. Oh, how spoiled I’ve become! Consumer expectations have gotten more and more sophisticated, yet unpredictable. With our latest installment of Wanderlust, our team continues to follow our passion for cars, analyzing their similarities, differences as well as the influences that fuel their creation. Over time, forms change, motivations evolve and expectations increase. When you try to find where passion, image, desire and experience intersect, you’re bound to find interesting arrangements. Predictably unpredictable. Demetrius Romanos Executive Creative Director Wanderlust: 2011 NAIAS 3
  3. 3. our approach 1 2 3 Tangibility is our first priority. We hate trend work that is too vague or difficult to apply. We thrive on finding patterns we know will be useful to future projects. Contextual Lens Brand Lens Observational Research Creative Expressions Filtering & Prototyping Each study begins by deeply exploring After developing a clear understanding When clients enlist our team for insights the patterns of the most forward-thinking of what patterns are occurring and what and education on the trends, we collaborate categories, followed by a filtered motivates the people participating in with them to understand their business and examination of what these patterns mean them, we build a series of focused narratives brand needs. We select the most relevant to consumers through the contextual to share these stories and inspire teams. trends and develop tangible concepts to lens of macro trends. inspire innovation. Our book stops here. Our partnership starts here.4
  4. 4. contextual lens Value-Able Ubiquitous Technology Recession Rebound Green Majority Over the last two decades, businesses have Technology used to be an awkward There’s no doubt that the economic climate As the importance of sustainability We overlay macro-level thinking to understand dragged the word “value” through the mud, acquaintance who wanted to help has permanently changed consumers and continues to grow, it approaches the mass the motivations behind each product trend. eroding its meaning until all that was left us solve problems we already had under their habits. Strained but not defeated, market with an important challenge: make was “low cost.” But value is taking back the control. More often than not, technology many consumers attempt to rebound from it care. Sustainability is past the early Contextual lenses provide a distinct point quality, meaning, and flexibility that go hovered around us, trying to be helpful but the recession through the careful selection adopter phase, and brands must appeal to of view to our observations. along with its thriftiness. Through a range also screwing a lot of things up. All that has of indulgences. Regardless of income level, a skeptical majority by giving them no of environmental factors, value means changed through the integration of devices people seek out luxury in one form or choice but to buy into sustainable ideas. more than it ever has to consumers. They’re and platforms. Consumer electronics have another, and it’s important for brands to No consumer chooses a product purely becoming more thoughtful in their choices, finally hit a point where their ubiquity is clearly communicate why they’re the right because of its sustainable promise—there demanding products and services that helpful and desirable. While the auto choice to this cautious audience.Consumers is always a primary benefit. With that in perform multiple tasks, last a long time, industry still has its share of gimmicks, we will probably never return to their pre- mind, automotive brands need a no- and give them delightful experiences, all at see many products integrating technology recession habits, but they yearn for compromises solution that delivers a reasonable cost. It is a daunting task, but in truly useful forms. While some brands products and services that will catapult sustainable benefits as a part of superior we’ve seen categories like fashion and take a low-tech approach as an escape them out of their current funk and into a performance and style. furniture take this on and succeed in big from a high-tech world, ubiquitous new phase of consumerism that will feel ways. As the automotive industry takes aim technology seems inevitable. In a world responsible and still luxurious. at value-able consumers, expect to see where we’re always checking-in, always promising concepts delivering on all the real-time, and always on, it’s a love–hate value consumers demand. relationship.6
  5. 5. expressions We look to the work of designers globally for inspiration and understanding. Assessed through the contextual lens of four macro trends, six patterns emerge from our observations at the 2011 NAIAS : 63 77 Automatik Black & Tan The traditional approach to performance, Traditional automotive craftsmanship collides evoking military utility and a spy’s with a refined sense of Americana. sense of gadgetry. 41 13 Modern Muscle Hyper Future The latest versions of American muscle brings a crisp, even harsh language A blend of technological along with them. and biological intelligence. 25 57 Return of Fun Lightspeed An upbeat personality that consumers These cars are all about speed are trying on for size to put the gloom with no sacrifice to eco-friendliness or quality— of the recession behind them. the latest form of pure performance. 11 42 55 61 75 Four Lenses Expressions & Reactions Trend Visuals Value-Able Ubiquitous Technology Recession Rebound + = Green Majority8 Wanderlust: 2011 NAIAS 9
  6. 6. In the Hyperfuture automotiveworld, vehicles are a blend of bothtechnological and biological intelligence.Thinking of the car as an extension ofour bodies opens up a whole new worldof possibilities. Sensors on the exteriorof the car enhance our experience —we see more, drive better, feel safer. SKELETAL WRAPPING New processes bring forth forms we could once only realize on paper. These cars showcase sweeping surfaces that wrap the vehicle like a skin. Wanderlust: 2011 NAIAS 11
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  8. 8. TECHNOLuMINESCENCE Subtle glows and light strips call attention to surfaces of the vehicle and lead the eye around the three-dimensional form. These details walk the line between functionality and pure decoration.14 Wanderlust: 2011 NAIAS 15
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  10. 10. HuMANuMERIC A blend of computer–generated pattern and hand craft, these details are the best of both worlds —that of man and machine. Generated by both, they feel natural and high-tech at the same time.18 Wanderlust: 2011 NAIAS 19
  11. 11. If people do not believe that mathematics is simple, it is only because they do not realize how complicated life is. John von Neumann20 Wanderlust: 2011 NAIAS 21
  12. 12. We caught many similarities between show vehiclesparallel WorlDs and recent games and movies. It’s hard to imagine car designers aren’t huge pop culture buffs. Both entertainment and auto designers visualize our future, so we’re not surprised to see this pattern. Tron Legacy Tron Legacy Hyundai Curb Chevy Sonic Halo Reach Smart E Scooter
  13. 13. As the economy starts to look up, consumersare eager to put the gloom of the recessionin the past. Detroit was more than willingto provide. Solutions ranged from addingmood-enhancing colors to tiny tech. Manybrands presented eco-friendly vehicles readyto link to your favorite devices and socialmedia. All reflect an upbeat personalitythat consumers are trying on for size. WELL ROuNdEd As the simplest of shapes, circles set a playful tone. While circles typically appear in the auto aesthetic, pure circles and arcs were more prominent than ever. Not just for the details, many of the larger surfaces seen also pushed for purity. Wanderlust: 2011 NAIAS 25
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  15. 15. I find in circles more inner possibilities. Wassily Kandinsky28 Wanderlust: 2011 NAIAS 29
  16. 16. car Face One consideration a car designer always keeps in mind is the “face” of the car. Research suggests consumers prefer an aggressive look, although we saw a wide range of expressions at the auto show. Below, the Kaleidoscope team gives their best impressions. CHIBI This Japanese term denotes something in it’s smaller and cuter version. A cheerier consumer outlook and demand for fuel economy has given rise to more cars that display personality and “toy” proportions. Wanderlust: 2011 NAIAS 31
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  18. 18. the neW color oF GreenHybrids and electrics have reached a level of pervasiveness to watch as eco gets more and more mass. To make thingswhere one can expect to be bombarded with them in more convoluted, there’s the claim that using massiveDetroit. This year however, things felt a bit different. The amounts of electricity is “green.” It appears that, for now,tension between earth-friendly and accelerator-friendly marketing is embracing tech and has found it’s “somethinghas always made the car industry particularly interesting for everyone” solution: bluewashing. US 11 O S CI 20 N N O TIO -C O LEC EC OL C POP A racing stripe is nothing new in automotive CMF. However, this year, color is showing up in unexpected places. From wheels to interiors, the use of color is unapologetic. Wanderlust: 2011 NAIAS 35
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  21. 21. These consumers make no compromises.Their cars are all about speed with nosacrifice to eco-friendliness or quality.With aggressive detailing and traditionalperformance cues, they outwardly expresssomething lean and mean. Although pureperformance is not new to the auto world,the way it manifests itself continues to evolve. SHOW yOuR TEETH Sharp corners and non-mating parting lines gives these cars an edgy look. These details look like fangs on a predator ready to attack its prey. Wanderlust: 2011 NAIAS 41
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  23. 23. “Provocative Quote”- Someone Impressive Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary... that’s what gets you. Jeremy Clarkson LAyERS IN MOTION Layered ribbon–like surfaces create an airy and techy feeling. Intricate layers appear in unexpected places like head and tail lights.44 Wanderlust: 2011 NAIAS 45
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  25. 25. dARK dETAILS Black accents give vehicles an added edge. Designers replace the expected chrome details with smoky, black finishes. Dark wheels give the illusion of floating bodies.48 Wanderlust: 2011 NAIAS 49
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  27. 27. our electric Future This year’s auto show was all about the electric vehicle. With Audi’s E-tron concept, the Tesla Roadster, and, most currently, the Hybrids have gone the way of the mini disc and were barely talked Mercedes SLS AMG E-Cell, high end brands get serious about electric. about this year. Electric performance vehicles are getting a strong As electric performance vehicles make their way into the mid-range push and they have gone in the opposite direction of the tame Prius. market, they could soon replace the souped-up Civics of today. Our We’ve traded in our conservative, smug hybrids for something more prediction: The Fast and The Furious 6: The Electric Slide. sinister.52 Wanderlust: 2011 NAIAS 53
  28. 28. Viewing the car as a machineto be controlled, these vehicles bringhigh-tech performance to our fingertips.Rather than integrate with our biologicalsystems, Automatik takes the traditionalapproach to performance and evokesmilitary utility and a James Bond senseof gadget functionality. TACTICAL SuRFACES Rather than challenging the limits of material and 3D design (Hyperfuture), these surfaces feel driven by technical advantages and aerodynamic testing. Wanderlust: 2011 NAIAS 55
  29. 29. I’m an F-18 bro. I will destroy you in the air and I will deploy my ordinance to the ground. Charlie Sheen CLuSTER BOMB Otherwise simple car designs are punctuated by performance features like a clusters of lights or controls on a center console. What does this button do?56 Wanderlust: 2011 NAIAS 57
  30. 30. BlinG BlinG E It’s been said that the eyes are the window to the soul, and this couldn’t A be more true than on a car. More attention is paid to the headlights than F perhaps any other single part of the car. These are some of our favorite “eyes” from the show. See if you can figure G out which one goes with what car. B H Audi A7 BMW 550i Hyundai Curb Concept Hyundai Sonata Hybrid C I Hyundai Veloster Ford C-Max Energi Ford Fiesta Ford Vertrek Concept J Mercedes E550 Tesla Roadster Venturi America Concept d Volvo XC60 K L Mercedes E550 (H), Tesla Roadster (L), Venturi America Concept (E), Volvo XC60 (J) Hyundai Veloster (A), Ford C-Max Energi (C), Ford Fiesta (F), Ford Vertrek Concept (K),58 Audi A7 (I), BMW 550i (G), Hyundai Curb Concept (D), Hyundai Sonata Hybrid (B),
  31. 31. Traditional automotive craftsmanshipcues collide with a refined Americanarecently found in furniture and fashion.Stitched leather accents and warmtones inside and out provide agrounded contrast to the blue LEDlighting and interactive displays foundelsewhere on the show floor. EARTH TONES Sober, warm neutrals become a sign of sophistication and credibility. A gradient from deep brown to taupe looks fresh compared to the typical silvers, blacks and primaries. Wanderlust: 2011 NAIAS 61
  32. 32. “Provocative Quote” - Someone Impressive ARTISAN uPdATES Do not mistake these cars for old-fashioned. Unusual applications of unique materials serve as cues that these cars are fresh. Even familiar wood detailing receives an update with a matte finish.62 Wanderlust: 2011 NAIAS 63
  33. 33. 64 Wanderlust: 2011 NAIAS 65
  34. 34. CRAFTEd PRECISION Metal details look hand-milled by master craftsman. Rational form, pattern and perfect fit and finish speak to a car that is an investment, not a commodity.66 Wanderlust: 2011 NAIAS 67
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  36. 36. BlooDlines Its time to face it, you can’t escape your past. ~40 years 1955 1964 1970 1980 2002 2008 2020 Thunderbird Mustang Challenger Thunderbird Challenger DeLorean? 2005 Mustang We’ve seen the triumphant return of some of our favorite When you map the return of these classics on a timeline, a vehicles in recent years. Rather than continue the slow pattern emerges. What models can we expect to return from evolution of their line, these models break the pattern the ‘80s? and revisit the first generation. They are the strongest representation of the car’s spirit since the original design. Could the Delorean be on its way back to the future? MATTE-ITudE Matte finishes have been on the fringe in recent years, exhibited mostly by reality TV-loving wide receivers. In 2011, its out in force, both as a detail and as the full paint job, in cars of almost any style.70 Wanderlust: 2011 NAIAS 71
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  38. 38. The muscle car’s promiseof accessible power has beenplucked from it’s glory daysand evolved throughout the years.2011’s power is communicatedthrough colliding forms resolvedwith crisp lines taken to the extreme.Vehicles of other genres and pricepoints are beginning to borrow thisnew, harsh language and build somemuscle of their own. CHISELEd MuSCLES As organic surfaces have become more commonplace, muscle cars have down–played voluptuous surfaces in favor of exaggerated, crisp lines. Wanderlust: 2011 NAIAS 75
  39. 39. 76 Wanderlust: 2011 NAIAS 77
  40. 40. INTERRuPTION vs INTEGRATION Pure forms slice and collide. The result is a form language simple enough to feel vintage but infused with modern confidence.78 Wanderlust: 2011 NAIAS 79
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  43. 43. the perFect shotOur team assembles the most common autoshow obstacles and how to navigate them. Have a friend block traffic. NAIAS draws a ton of people and you people oF the autoshoW The North American International Auto Show attracts all kinds...seriously. Check out a few of our favorites. came to shoot the cars, not them. (See next page for exceptions)Avoid the displays. Great info butannoying if you want a clean shot.Shoot from the other side or you’llhave to photoshop it out later. y We raz lo =c at whe ve the k tab le et ride n yo u ge ilt-just d turn ! swe t in and on’t flas r on tretch Ca d s ts a y ge out h of th us goo curit ! e ca n se w rs... Eve utosho a the the din g in stan ude t! trend! us d retro uito eet sho latest ubiq w he The f your s Tie Die: t o way Calm ends under p up w re innin ssure. W g... e be tthis g uyTurn your flash off. Note :t purch oken modThe cars are shiny NAIA S ase o e f sup l not inclu moto = Christm ercar. ded inand you’re gonna r city ? as tim e in theget it right backin the face. our ader s: for y eerle ange n ch Don’t forget the details. Feral Children in exch st trend ” Pisto deal: e the be hter) etroit The good stuff is Their hands are dirty ’s the av l laug The D aid... “Here u shall h maniaca s soul yo ever! ( ‘nuff sometimes small. and they do not keep ment docu them to themselves. Wanderlust: 2011 NAIAS 85
  44. 44. tracker Over the last couple of years we’ve observed, filtered, and documented trends from a variety of shows so that you don’t have to! By continuing to track where things have been, we can soon project where they are going. 2009 2010 2011 Furniture Automotive Furniture Automotive Back to Bauhaus Cyborg le Monde Ancien Modern Vintage Simple designs that Design inspired by tech Designs that Chiseled, masculine forms are free of distraction and biology remember the past Up to Eleven Strong, Silent DIY Lightspeed Complete exploitation Assertive designs If you build it, Aggressive, fast-forms of materials that speak softly you will have one with a tech feel Mash Aesthetics Retrosexual Flyyter Return of Fun Juxtaposing different aesthetics Embracing classic Perpetual motion Soft designs that within the same design pop culture evoke the playful Follow the Light Direkt Hyperfuture If you would Light as the product Simple forms with Lights and surfaces imbued disruptive details with a sense of the future understand anything, Concrete Jungle Nature in an urban world Natuur Automatik observe its beginning Getting away from Design driven by technical the comfort of your home advantages and its development. Supply and Design Black and Tan Pragmatic application of existing Subdued, neutral, Aristotle supplies for sustainability and sophisticated Key drivers Social Technological Economical Environmental86 Wanderlust: 2011 NAIAS 87
  45. 45. Look for more and more products and experiences toadopt a no-compromises attitude.LimitlessWhether it’s a zero-emissions super car or couture fashion at mass retail, consumersget everything they want in this era of design. Through a perfect storm of social,technological, and economic innovations, brands in the automotive sector and beyondhave figured out how to satisfy the demands of the modern consumer. We’ve seen thisover the past few years and it couldn’t be more true at this auto show. Do youremember the “cheap-fast-good” triangle? We don’t need that anymore.Look at the Mercedes SLS AMG E-Cell. Who would have thought you could pull somany important automotive trends into a single statement? It satisfies many classics:our need for ridiculous speed, our love for long dash-to-axle, even gullwings! As such,its eco-friendly technology and neon paint job show that it’s boldly looking into thefuture. Since we’re talking about an auto show, I think I should mention the best part– it’s not just a concept; it’s scheduled for production.Look for more and more products and experiences to adopt this no-compromisesattitude. Whether it’s through an accessible technology (3D printing), an integratedbusiness model (mass customization), or a growing social movement (DIY), brandshave an endless supply of innovation to fulfill the needs of every consumer. The truechallenge lies in accepting that our consumers will eventually demand to be treated asindividuals, but we’ll save that discussion for another issue!Michael RollerSenior Creative Lead Wanderlust: 2011 NAIAS 89
  46. 46. Trends should raise your awareness of the socialand cultural changes happening around you.Most importantly, they should inspire you to act.If you don’t use It, you’ll Lose ItAt Kaleidoscope, we like trends that inspire ideas, but we love trends that inspireactions. With each new project, we assess the cultural landscape to identify trendsand brands that are a good match. Most importantly, we don’t stop after we’veachieved awareness. We generate tangible directions for how our insights willinform our work. Prototypes represent an essential step to generating excitementand investment in an idea. Good luck and enjoy the journey! Wanderlust: 2011 NAIAS 91
  47. 47. Thank youWe strive to make our trends actionable and applicable. If this editionof Wanderlust has inspired you and your team to action, let us know.We look forward to working with you to bring these trends to life anduncover new ones along the way.Melanie Weaver Katie kbuchmann@kascope.com800.930.5793 800.930.5793This presentation is a collection of past and present work by designers aroundthe world and does not intend to solely represent work by Kaleidoscope.
  48. 48. anderlustThe refusal to rest content, the willingnessto risk excess on behalf of one’s obsessions,is what distinguishes artists from entertainers,and what makes some artists adventurerson behalf of us all.John Updike