The Wright Brothers
When Orville and Wilbur Wright were designing their airplane, they were so involved with the project that they could hardly wait for morning to get back to work, and then would stay late at night trying to solve the issues that had kept man on the ground. They were deeply committed and involved—in love with what they were doing. Their airplane design was not a model of an esthetic styling study, but it nonetheless was a beautiful design in its delicate simplicity. They were perfectionists, knowing that all of the parts had to be designed to be perfectly integrated or the device wouldn’t work. A statement of minimalism. There was nothing on the airplane that didn’t have to be there for it to function.
Car design, where details, gestures, graphics, surfacing, stance, and proportion have an integrated quality that supports a clear, discernible theme are designs that tug heartstrings. It is a matter of personal preference as to what designs have this quality, but each of us have our favorites. You know the feeling—you round a corner and are suddenly eye to headlight with a stunning design that is clearly several cuts above the ordinary. Whatever group designed that car had vision, loved what they were doing, and were blessed with a system that allowed it to go into production.
There was a time where design was like that for all of us. Freedom of expression. Focused, uncomplicated creativity.
This artistic video is about a motorcycle builder in Los Angeles who loves what he is doing. He customizes old Hondas and makes them into European-style cafe racers. He’s intoxicated by the gratification of realizing his creative vision. I would imagine that Orville and Wilbur shared the same potent brew.
Dustin Knott’s website: www.kottmotorcycles.com.