(from Daimler Press
Release) Mercedes-Benz Design: Automobile design as an art
-- A jewel of
-- Artistic imagination and the forces of nature
Mercedes-Benz is not
only treating visitors to the North American International Autoshow
2010 in Detroit to the world premiere of the new E-Class Cabriolet
and innovative technology, but also placing a beautifully executed
automobile sculpture at centre stage. It represents a vehicle body
taking soft, flowing form from a level surface – as if an automobile
of liquid silver was being created, or a shimmering cloth was gently
draped over a newly conceived design. As if by a natural process,
clearly contoured surfaces are ordered and delineated by sharply
drawn, curved lines. They lend the sculpture an organic appearance,
giving it a future and origin.
The sculpture is an
exclusive, sensuous creation and extraordinarily eye-catching. But
it also transports car design into a new, artistic reality. "To us,
automobile design means artistic, aesthetically and sensuously
oriented creation", says Head of Design Prof. Gorden Wagener.
"Mercedes-Benz designers translate their artistic inspiration into
the modern idiom of Mercedes-Benz automobile design, which combines
dramatic details with harmony, style and passion. Mercedes-Benz
design is clear, calm and consistent, but yet emotional and highly
sensuous. Mercedes-Benz is the brand best able to present automobile
design as an art form in an authentic way."
As an extraordinary
jewel of automotive artistry, the sculpture uses its flowing,
cloth-like connection to its surroundings and the resulting pattern
of folds to symbolise the positively and negatively curved surfaces
of the modern Mercedes-Benz design strategy. This is characterised
by dramatic, full surfaces whose proportions are attractively
defined by fine, softly emerging but sharply contoured lines.
Viewing the sculpture
can conjure up many associations. Perhaps a sand dune or a
snowdrift, a viscous substance such as hot lava or mercury from
which an automobile is being created. The sculpture imitates the
formative power of nature: flowing elements change their shape as
the form of a new automobile emerges in line with the dynamic laws
of gravity and aerodynamics, making this form vaguely visible and
solidifying into a work of art with the appearance of a casting
possessing contours and clear definitions. It shows shapes and lines
that appear natural gradually taking the form of a vehicle body, a
sensuous basic structure on which curving, sinewy lines create
emotional contours. An aesthetic transformation, "shaped by nature"
and the artistic imagination of the designer.
Inspired by and taking its origin from the forces of nature, this
artistically executed sculpture also symbolises the key basic values
of the Mercedes-Benz brand – intelligent technology and quality,
sensuous beauty, style, dynamism and innovative strength for well
over a century. Coupled with respect for man and nature.
Mercedes-Benz is one of the few automobile companies able to
communicate this credibly as a work of art.
This is also reflected
in the shining Alubeam silver paint finish, which interacts with the
contours of the sculpture to create multi-facetted areas of light
and shade. At the same time this Mercedes colour is a reference to
the glorious motor racing history of the Mercedes-Benz brand, but
also suggests visions of the day after tomorrow and promises the
innovations of the future.
sculptural depiction was essentially created as an attempt by
Mercedes-Benz Design to show the cultural feeling and creativeness
of its designers in the five international design studios in
Germany, Italy, the USA, Japan and China, to further their artistic
ideals and develop a design for Mercedes-Benz. "Many of our
designers come from artistic families, carry artistic ambitions in
their genes, so to speak, and found their way into automobile design
via their artistic talent," is how Prof. Gorden Wagener explains the
With this sculpture,
Mercedes-Benz provides an insight into the thinking and perceptions
of its team of designers and model-makers. While a design idea
initially takes shape on paper, it is subsequently modelled in clay.
This is sculptural work in its purest form, and eminently suitable
for finding new shapes and creating sensuousness. The automobile as
an art form, with heavy concentration on attention to detail that
also includes the interior design and choice of materials.
Designing and modelling
at Mercedes-Benz Design has a great deal to do with creativity and
the work of artists – though art for art's sake is certainly not the
intention behind this sculpture! The form of an automobile that
suggests itself here in such an artistically sophisticated and
encoded way is only vaguely perceptible. Nonetheless the basic
proportions challenge the onlooker to interpret the shape of the
future, real product that may be nearing the end of its flowing
design process. Amazement and speculation in equal measure.