Friday, May 1, 2015

Criticize Design to improve Design!

Renault Twizy Design review with Francois Leboine, Patrick Lecharpy, Luciano Bove & Eric Diemert


Dear friends,

when I was a student at ACCD in Pasadena I learned to accept critics about my work and also critic my classmates' works. Our teachers encouraged us to do so.

When I start teaching I also criticize students' works and asked them to give their critics and opinions about their classmates' works.

At work (Fiat first and since 15 years at Renault Design) I received critics and also gave some, when I manage my projects or participate to internal projects reviews I give always my honest open critic.

I know that, specially in school, we have hard time to accept to be criticized about our beloved work and presentations. Lets say it, we do have a big ego!
This sometimes makes things harder to accept, we hardly accept our teacher's suggestions (and at ACCD those suggestions where hard to hear).

However the question is: why do we receive critics?

I know some of you are thinking "...because some people are assholes!", but few of you think because criticizing is a "constructive way to improve and get better"!

The point is we will be always judged about our designs, sketching ability, our taste, our presentation skills, our way to present ourself to teachers, class or top management. So we better be damn good to limit negative results being humble and professionals.
In a few words: we must always work hard to discover our limits and move on to the next quality objective.

When I give my critics, believe me I am not too nice and often very serious about, in reality I am trying to help my colleague to correct his/her mistakes to reach the best result possible. So even if  I am perceived too hard I am giving an hand. However, I always make sure I speak with respect.

When I was teaching it was the same, I would criticize students' work because I wanted to push them to their limits understanding what was good and what was wrong.
Asking students criticizing their works was the way to help them to speak up in a correct way with respect but with honesty. When you make a critic you think first before opening your mouth, this exercise helps you to develop a self conscious attitude to analyze Design.

This video from Whiplash movie is a "dramatic" example of what we should pretend from ourself to be better than average if not the best! You should watch the full movie it is simply great!

Thanks for reading...




2006-2012 Http://lucianobove.blogspot.com All Rights Reserved

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Car Design not only for men...you better read this!

Nissan project by Yang Fu ACCD student - image via her blog

Dear friends,

how many of you think that Car Design is a "man type" job? How many times we talk about car designers and we have men in front of us?

In my 10 years career as a design teacher (1990-2000 Art Center Europe, IAAD & IED) I had the pleasure to have as students few ladies, a part of them (about 5) became excellent designers and today are design managers in car companies or they run their own design business doing very well.

Today women in design schools are more than before or 10 years ago and the "creative" effect is starting to become relevant to the point we have extremely competitive and full of talent ladies as interns (Renault Design).

So today a great illustration of her Nissan project done as Art Center College of Design student, I am talking about Yang Fu whom just finished her second internship with us.
She is very determined  to make it, hard worker, strong minded, very good talent.

Check her blog and start worrying!

Click: Yang Fu portfolio blog
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2006-2012 Http://lucianobove.blogspot.com All Rights Reserved

Monday, April 6, 2015

Be a good student and you will not regret it!

ACCD's BMW Exa project image via Cardesignnews.com

Dear friends,

In Car Design Education most of young fresh students believe that the hardest thing to accomplish is to be accepted at a good competitive design school!
“Hey to be accepted I had to go through a selection with interview and entry portfolio review, now I am in... I made it!”
You know what? In a way you are right, the first step is done and you did it, so congratulations!

What you do not know yet is that you just made the “first” step and many more are to come with an increase of difficulties that you cannot even imagine. This is the reason why today I’ll ask you to be good students all the way to the end!

However what does it mean to be good students?

Now follow me just to understand better...
Way back in school we were considered good students when we came home with high grades. We would make our homework and later we could go play with our friends or watch TV or go to do some sport. We would come back home and find a nice dinner made by our beloved mother.
But what happens when we get into a Design college (ex like Art Center or CCS or IAAD…) to study Transportation Design?

Your life will change for the better even if you will have to do several sacrifices about your personal life. That is it! If you want to be a good student all the way to the end it is going to happen to you and you have to learn quickly how to cope correctly with it. You have to if you want to accomplish your mission which is to become a car designer with talent and strong skills. You have to learn how to take care of yourself (apart, bills to pay, food, cleaning), but you have to discipline yourself quickly to be productive in school (projects, assignments, presentations, models, portfolio,…)

During the last 25 years of professional life (of which 10 spent as design educator in 3 different schools) I saw 2 students’ categories:
  1. 1. The good students
  2. 2. The mediocre ones

The good students are:
Since the very beginning students that take this experience very seriously. They are students that are hungry for success, they know that they have been selected because they have a talent to develop, they dream to be good designers, they dream to become useful to community, they are ambitious, they have a feeling for strategy and organization, they are managers of themselves, they like discipline, they work hard, they are in love with their experience and feel the importance of it. They work on improving their skills and try to exercise their creativity to be better than their colleagues in class, when they make a rendering or a model they are willing to re do thinks if necessary, for them quality is important. They think about their school projects because they know that those projects might have a potential to be in their portfolio. They are interested in internships and often they get one just because they deserve one, they learn fast how to be in relation with the real designers’ environment to be appreciated.
In a few words those are students that have only one thing in their target: to do all it takes to become a car designer.
A good student is always a humble one!

The mediocre students are:
Those that think Design College is like the previous school they were in; generally they realize too late that it is not the same thing.
Those that do not work as hard as requested to improve their skills, they fall in love very quickly with their first nice “cool” sketches and sadly do not realize it was just their start!
Those that still do not know: how to draw wheels in perspective, what is a focal point, a dynamic composition; how to push to the limit their creativity.
Those that cannot find the right discipline to finish correctly a project. Often their projects are finished, but still need to be re worked to be included in a portfolio.
Those that are arrogant, that cannot miss their weekends at the sea or who knows where… those that always have an excuse ready for something they did not do or completed.
Those that instead of bringing the 50 required sketches arrive with 40 because 40 is already a good number! Of course; they will not be considered for that day and it is not such a good thing!
In a few words mediocre are those students that do not take seriously this experience for which their parents pay money, lack of maturity but also sense of responsibility.
In conclusion
So, do not forget to be a good student all the way to the end, it is for you! You are investing on your future often with your parents’ financial and moral support, do not miss this opportunity. Be concentrated on your goal and take advantage of all tools your school will offer to accomplish your mission.

Good luck!
-
2006-2012 Http://lucianobove.blogspot.com All Rights Reserved

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Car Design: The Package Design

Image from H-Point book


 Dear friends,
how many times did we start a new project just by sketching a lot and then choosing a nice one and decide that that sketch will become our concept choice? I guess many times, we all did and do. It is part of our brainstorming stage after we receive our new project briefing.

 However today I would like to tell you a bit about how important is the Package Technical Layout we usually receive with our briefing.
 Often we talk about nice "proportions" or the research for new proportions to try a break through, the objective is to realize a real new concept that does not have anything to do with classical car proportions (specially in design school).

Images from H-Point Book
How is it at work? How do we start in a real design studio?
We do receive our Package Design and we must do our best to respect it because it envolves 2 main factors: Human Factors (Ergonomy) & Production Costs!

 So now you might think that there is no hope to change proportions unless we force the company to revise the budget with the high risk to have our proposal rejected. It could be, but it all depends on how you manage your strategy...in other words what type of design strategy do you apply to make something new respecting technical and cost/budget demands?

There are basically two ways to do it:

I do what I like!
I do my sketch development I choose my concept I do it and after someone will try to apply my concept to all technical/cost requests to make sure to respect game rules.
This strategy very often is a loosing one because even if you made an excellent design execution the all company system will be against because of the high conflicts it will generate within all teams (engineers-ergonomy experts-technical experts-suppliers involved....).
You will become probably soon tired to argue and a lot frustrated, for your boss the project management will become politically complicated and when politics at some levels is complicated it means that your attitude becomes a problem, too!

My strong advice is: do not do it! People will call you "the artist" and believe me it is not a compliment ;), do not forget that you have to manage your project but also your possible career which means how you are what type of respect you build  from others to you and viceversa.

I live with the Hard Points because thanks to them I can do real Design!
This is the design strategy I love and I explain the reasons.
Rule N° 1: I Design around people for people and their confort
Rule N° 2: I believe that with my Design I'll improve those people's life
Rule N° 3: I know which are the technical layout weak points (often proportions) and I'll help the technical team to share several alternative options to improve their work without provoking a higher project cost!

To do so I must be interested and curious about how they (technical departement) think and what technologies we can use to make the car. I understand a technical drawing and I can discuss technical aspects using my "creativity" pushing them to be more creative and alternative to the standard layout they usually use. Let's work on their sections and share with them our body sections or cutlines, what is the problem? Let's find several solutions. This is Problem Solving management.

In other words it is a team work, I'll act giving value to their work and giving value to mine pushing them to "redesign technically" some aspects of the original layout.

I will make Alias models to show them I respect their Hard Points, I show how my sections are better if they change few millimeters here and there, or if they accept to change their front structure with a similar solution that does not cost higher but that gives me a better arounded top section.....I do benchmarking showing how other competitors had a better solution and what we could do...

I know that at the beginning of our car designer career we do not know all this and we are not exposed to those type of professional meetings and responsabilities, however I believe it is very important for all of you to know soon enough that Design strategy and Design project management can be the most important thing to do well in order to make great designs and defend them untill production.

Hope it was useful to you!





2006-2012 Http://lucianobove.blogspot.com All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Car sketches and illustrations by Grigory Bars

Couopé sketch by Grigory Bars via Grigory Design Blog

Dear friends,

it is more than few months that I keep watching with great interest Grigory's work via his profile on Facebook.

Please check his blog to see lots more and also his portfolio (on the right side of blog page).

Click: Grigory Bars Design blog

-2006-2012 Http://lucianobove.blogspot.com All Rights Reserved

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment Detroit Contest



Dear friends,

here we have a super cool Sketch-battle Contest organized by Middlecott & AACS in Detroit! Let's participate you still have some time, here the rules and all infos to know when and where send your drawings:

Just Click: The Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment application Form!

Have fun!

-2006-2012 Http://lucianobove.blogspot.com All Rights Reserved

Sketching cars is a matter of exercise!

Sketch via IDSketching.com
Some time ago designer Spencer Nugent, from IDSketching.com, wrote a post about how to develop our drawing skills. As example he published the blu line sketch which was one of his first attempt to sketch a car in perspective. Recently he tried to reinterprated the same sketch with his actual professionality and using an IPad by Apple. He used his drawings to express his vision about how to learn drawing cars.
His comments in the post found me completely in harmony with his vision because he is right! To draw well, to get such professional level we MUST draw a lot. As simple as this, the continuous trainig gives us, on the long run, a way to improve strongly our skills. When I was in design school, some time ago, I had all my teachers always saying "...you learn with milage...so the only way to become a good designer with solid bases is to keep on drawing over and over until you get sick of it!"


Now, why do I want to write about this aspect of our profession? Because I still see, during my design schools visits, students that are happy with few extra sketches for their presentation without realizing that their drawing level ability stays costant! They improve when the end of academic year is close (may and june), however the time left is too short for a real final quality sprint.
Many students send me their mini portfolios via email for an evaluation and very often, as I usually do, I give a feed back mostly about their weak points. On top of the list there is always a "lack of quality sketching" and to me this is given by lack of exercise!
I know that some design schools are less demanding than others, BUT! Are we doing this for the school, the grade or for our future? So to avoid to finish school and be forced to re-do a big part of your portfolio before getting a job you better work hard at school sketching a lot with method and discipline to make sure you can improve your skills to a very performing level.
At my school time we did not have internet and our only reference to compare ourself were our collegues at school and few magazines with nice photos....today with internet you have lots of references (my blog for example or all facebook pages about car design like "Car Design Insight" to compare yourself and understand if you are qualified with your work's quality...no excuse!
From october to april some students just waste a precious time to build their skills improvement and when some of them, in some design schools, get their diploma...the quality portfolio remains a dream. Result is: you are not ready to search for a designer job because your book does not have a high competitive level.
Got the point? What are you waiting for? Go back to drawing!2006-2012 Http://lucianobove.blogspot.com All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Digital Car Design and portfolio

Barco room at PSA Design Center via www.barco.com


Dear friends,

I am starting to receive via email some digital virtual 3D portfolios asking for a feedback. Mainly are portfolios sent by DSK-ISD design school in India and I am very happy to see them and answer back with an honest feedback and with a costructive critic.
To me it is a good thing that design schools seriously start forming young designers to learn and become passionate about the fascinating virtual 3D design world, design studios around the wordl need such professional profiles because virtual technologies are getting more important day by day into the design process. Autodesk and Maya 3DMAX softwares are very popular just like others like Rhino....
Back in 1996, when I was Chair of Transportation Design Dpt at Istituto Europeo of Design in Turin italy, I also tried to start forming this type of profile "the virtual 3D modeler or sculptor". Finally today almost all schools try better to accomplish this task.
Maya surface modeling
See all 7 photos
Maya surface modeling
Source: Ruben Martins art blog
So, as I said, I receive those mini portfolios and I see that everybody is very happy to show their academic projects one by one to communicate their abilities and skills in modeling from a product like a watch until a more complex thing like a full car. Later in their books I find also nice rendering showing the final stage which is presenting their finished works with flash and lights!
Good!
The question is what is not working in all of them? Or , for better saying, what could they do to make their portfolios more personalized and most of all great knocking portfolios?
My opinion is:
I believe that today to get a job, in a very difficult period such as the economic crisis wich contracted dramatically job offers around the world, every student should try to have a real strong portfolio with which demonstrate that they are the right hiring choice and not someone else. In other words competition is becoming higher and tighter so to have good skills is not anymore enough. We need more to pass the difficult selection and be the one that will be hired.
What to do for those digital 3D portfolios?
You guys have to push your limits! You know that you can model, you know that you can shade and render...now you have to pass to a higher level by using your creative talent to make superb rendering illustrations.
Here in this hub I choose some images to make myself clearer, you need to develop a sensibility to choose the right spot light the right perspective to organize a cool composition on page (this comes from your illustration classes) you need to choose cool typeface if you write on your images, you need to moderate your warm and cool light and color choices, you have to express energy and seduction , you need to orientate well your room or scenario lights to play with shadows, your images must be sexy...yes sexy! You gona be proud of your images!
Now i am sure your teachers give you these tips, but you do not follow up because you are concentrated on your modeling ability...this is a mistake and a strategic one.

How does it work in a real design studio?

Generally when I have to follow a new project and get to the 3D modelig stage I look always for one of our best digital modeler because I know that he works very well, he is flexible, he has taste (he can help me) and he knows how to make great virtual images to help me in selling my project using the emotional quality of his images.
So in your digital 3D modeling portfolio you should do the same! You have to organize your design modeling process starting from modeling, shading, rendering and final presentation hot images.
You have also to think that your portfolio has to provoke curiosity so have a good amountof different type of projects, have some nice designed products, different type of transportation design projects, and if you really want to be super hot make a short video with your 3D data something like 1 minute time nice music and cool animation.
I hope I was clear explaining my point of view and I hope that it will help you!

Luciano Bove
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2006-2012 Http://lucianobove.blogspot.com All Rights Reserved

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas presents for a car design student :)

Photo via Nice Things


Dear friends,

it is Christmas and for sure you are thinking about presents to buy or to receive. Here a selection I made for you:

Drawing tools

Color Pencils Prismacolor 72 or Prismacolor 132

Pencil sharpener

Draw Pencils Set

Prismacolor Nupastel Color Chalk 

Copic Markers 36

Drawing Paper

Ellipses Template Set (for your wheels)

Ship Curves Set (for your line quality)

Wacom Tablet for digital drawing (beginners)

You will see that prices are not really expensive but if you want to have some good materials and tools you can start with some of those.

Merry Christmas to you!

Luciano
-2006-2012 Http://lucianobove.blogspot.com All Rights Reserved

Friday, December 19, 2014

Automotive business: changing brand image

It takes guts, talent, passion, vision, leadership to head a design team in automobile industry to change a brand image!

Yes it is not just like guiding a designers team for some projects, it is a lot more. We are talking about a new story to tell, a convincing one, followed by the right products to inject into markets and have success.
We are talking about what it takes to be the right design leader to change a brand image in automotive design. In the last 20 years we saw several big personalities to operate for such a task with great success giving to the companies, for which they were or are working, the right alternative design philosophy to provoke a fresh rebirth guiding new style design tactics and operations.
Patrick le Quement former head of Renault Design
 
The role of VP Design brand operations is the highest design position any designer hopes to rich one day, it is a place only for few because of the particular type of task. It requires a bit of crazyness, lots of courage, method, discipline, culture, today international experience, the right working experience background, managerial skills, and lots of creative talent.
This job role is also at high risk, it is well payed but do not forget that the boss often is the N°2 or N°1 of the company which means at the second mistake you are out!

Chris Bangle former head of design for Fiat & BMW 
 
I wrote about crazyness and lots of courage. Yes it is so, if you are in the position of dusting off an old classic brand which is having hard time to compete with an agressive competition...you need to re invent the story even if respecting the historical background of that company.
BMW is a good example. The magic effect has to be provoked wisely, the electric shock for the market is going to be vital even if the fedel market will be a bit surprised by the change. What it counts is how you can conquist new markets, how you can improve the design and quality product appeal to people never thought to buy that product!
In this particular case there is a higher risk of missing the objectif, but if you are enough crazy and talented chances are you'll make it...because you felt it that way and played the game all the way!
Attention! This design strategy is a bit like taking drugs...it can work well and make you feel on top of the world, however it can also kill you with incredible stress to manage because of internal political affairs. It is not about designers team...mostly it is about politics.
Laurens van den Acker Head of Renault Design
 
The new story to tell and illustrate has to be strong, the message has to hit positively people, strong and (sexy) appealing. In some cases it is better to make the message grow correctly inside and outside the company to let people absorbe it, understand it and appreciate it.
Some concept cars teasers are best way to make that message and story very democratic, richable to everybody and today with Facebook, Twitter, Youtube channels and all comments we understand if the story is appreciate or not. Make regular happenings in this sense is a good strategy, keep high the attention and curiosity for what is going to happen next. the story is shared and we are waiting for next episode.
I believe that the key word for all this is " emotions", in car design you need emotions applied to wise products to motivate people, to shake them. Renault is a great example!
Walter De Silva Head of all VW Group Design operations
 
Now that we wrote all this we could end this short Hub about New Brand Image stategy by saying that naturally it can happen if you have the dream team....not really! It can happen if you are able to make everybody work in harmony even if you do not have the dream team, what it counts is how much you are able to take out of your designers modelers managers the talent they have to produce the right products you would like to get. Get out of them the best they have to give.
The people in the photos are a good example of higly talented designers and design managers capable to do it...because they did or are doing it!
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2006-2012 Http://lucianobove.blogspot.com All Rights Reserved

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