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DESIGN FOR THE FUTURE

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Tue, Jun 13, 2006

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

DESIGN FOR THE FUTURE

By JOHN GRAFMAN

Design is one of those elements that are more difficult to nail down than others. Break out a stopwatch, and it's a black and white affair measuring zero-to-sixty and quarter mile times. Design always varies depending on whose eyes are doing the judging. When the overwhelming majority takes a liking to the styling of a brand, they must be doing something right. Audi has the honor of being just one of those brands.

Both Audi and Volkswagen enjoy the distinction of being brands that have truly great design across the board, both interior and exterior. They also share a new location in Santa Monica in an area that is bursting with business, life, and history all rolled into one - a far cry from their former digs in Simi Valley.

The mid-week after-hours event at the new studio is called to celebrate the birth of a new publication, Architects Newspaper , and the creation of a new lighting fixture. Naturally, this begs the question of what has a car design studio got to do with architecture?

Recently, Audi expanded its horizons with a recent project that is a melding of the design ethos that they are so famous for. Project Daedalus combines the forces of Audi's Design Center California (DCC) and Ivalo in pursuit of an original and innovative decorative lighting fixture.

The result is a dynamic spiraling piece made up of numerous glass vanes. The shape results in a form that constantly evolves as the angle in which it's viewed changes, giving this a sense of fluid motion even while it remains static.

Illuminating the studio especially decorated for the invited guests is the glowing and unique light. Suspended high above the clay modeling surface plates, it catches and redirects our eyes to above our normal field of vision. The attendees get to absorb the airy quality the studio achieves, and partake in the landing and departure of the aircraft in and out of Santa Monica Airport. One would think that the noise from the activities outside could be a problem for those within the confines of the DCC. As it turns out the studio is rather serene, at least on the night we happen to be attending.

Does this mean Audi is moving to new products and out of autos? Hardly. This does signify that Audi is looking to influences beyond just the world of cars. Perhaps architecture, aviation, or even the influences found in the new location in the cosmopolitan beach town will be present in the styling of the next generation of cars. We will have to wait for months, or maybe even years to see the real results. In the meanwhile, the staff of the new facility will have to get used to trading in their cowboy boots for some flip-flops. No one said change is easy!

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