Do designers look toward the concept car as a platform for more than just a new vehicle?
From the 1930s to the 1970s the idea of travelling into space has captured the imagination of the human mind. Its ramifications on every aspect of living are completely unmistakable and have gone down in history for creating the style of a generation. But to understand this unique and unforgettable influence on design, it is first important to question the reasons for this fascination and why it was so important to those who strived to achieve it; not only in transport to space, but in our every day lives and tasks.
So why venture into space? The obvious reasons will of course be power and money, the two things that have forever ruled the world and will no doubt continue to do so. But what other motives can there be for this extraordinary thirst for exploration?
One reason could possibly be the widely known notion of, ‘the grass is always greener on the other side.’
An idea that far from our world, there is something else out there that could put our home planet to shame. The technological advancements up until the 1930s were so great, that naturally the progression would lead to travel on unfamiliar terrain, thus making life in another world plausible in the minds of millions.
At a time when the second world war was in the not too distance past and the cold war was in the not too distant future, the yearning for this superior, new land would be greater than ever.
With war comes loss of faith. Faith in religion and faith in mankind. With the exhaustion of combat and the devastation of loss, the need to believe in something, to have hope, is a greater need than expected. Therefore the ‘utopian dream’ of a new life in a new place would be an immense reason for people to want the space travel efforts to succeed.
The one final motive that could be discussed, relates more so to the designers that helped make the space race the iconic time it was. For the people that designed for the future, the attraction could be that of immortality. To design something that would become the staple or basis for every day use in the future, the creator could gain historical recognition for what they achieved. They would live on through their product of creativity. The excitement of the mere thought of leaving the earths protective and life giving ‘thin blue line’, is enough to make any person become a dreamer, but for a designer, its the chance to imprint their dreams of what the future may hold onto the time they themselves are living in. If the dream lives on after the inventor they’ve achieved immortality.
All of these considerations lead to understanding the thought process of the people that turned the space race into an artistic wonderland. Its from these fantastical ideas and motives that came the birth of the concept car and the instantly recognisable car fashions of the time. Where these unusual automotive design...