Saturday, October 08, 2005

Banana Cars

It seems only fitting that the Digital Fridge Door’s (DFD) inaugural post be of the infamous banana cars. The original sketches are still up on the actual fridge. The background on this is pretty immaterial at this point, but involves my saying something like, "Well, if you want color options without having any idea of what the thing will look like, I’d do just as well to show color schemes on something benign like ... Bananas!".

So, the thing about being an industrial designer is that sometimes you have to turn off the internal editor in your brain, and just sketch whatever it is that you hear people trying to describe – you (I) have to draw other people’s ideas, more or less immediately. Sometimes I have to work out the mechanical details, but most often, once I understand the concept, I have to just sketch, so that the idea can be quickly communicated and shared. That’s why they call it "visual communication" (‘viscomm’). Three years of VisComm classes, folks.

I had more fun with the banana-car sketches than the real ones, trust me. As is usually the case, the most ‘fun’ sketches are the quick ones, the ones that come without content editing, during chaotic, rapid-fire brainstorm sessions, where people are going off on tangents, making goofy comments, like, "Hey, that looks like a snake on a rock", "Here, Wendee, you draw it. If I draw it, it’ll look something like a turd on a leaf" (I have sketches of both). Or, when a drawing starts to look like something else, completely unrelated to the task at hand, I go ahead and draw it in its alternate form. Whatever the reason, it’s a good sign that the scribe is still having fun and being playful. Embrace these for the healthy folly that it is.

Expect to see more of these unedited-stream-of-consciousness drawings (or, "Wow, you say it, and it magically appears!").