Volvo is up with a new concept car that it's billing as a "masterpiece of Scandinavian Design for car buyers of exquisite tastes." The vehicle is a 'luxury Volvo for China and the world' with an interior that offers a "special contemporary luxury experience." All told, the design is 'just like fine luxury goods.' And it's part of Volvo's larger aim to "be the brand that best interprets what buyers of modern luxury cars want."
With the closing of last week's Salone Internazionale del Mobile, the world's largest design fair, and the coming prospect of seeing yet another chair, another lamp, and another collection of intentionally mismatched glassware make its way to the featured section of blogs, magazines, and cocktail conversations, all I can keep thinking about is the land line telephone. Until all design works as well as that classic, all design is fashion.
Design might work much better if it were more single-minded.
Just look at your computer desktop or smartphone homescreen: app icons lined up like perfect little Chiclets, all sporting perfect vector curves, expertly chosen colors, and burnished fake-shiny 3-D effects. Sure, the affordances may be great -- but doesn't all that perfection get boring after a while? Then bask in the sketchtacular glow of Kyle Steed's new collection of hand-drawn icons ("When perfect pixels just won't do").
Williamsburg and Greenpoint -- the Kremlin of hipsterdom -- have a problem: Whenever a kid runs his fixed gear bike into a powder-blue Vespa or a guy gores himself on moose antlers in a bar, the fire department's EMS trucks have to motor in from a hospital miles away.
Even when I was young enough to be the target audience for such things, I never understood the appeal of live music festivals: Why would I pay for the privilege of being trapped in a scorching hot, filthy-as-sin arena with unsanitary facilities and inhumanely priced water just to hear badly soundmixed bands that I probably can't even get a good sightline on?
Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back was great -- easily the best of the all the Star Wars movies ever made. Problem is, it's been shown so many times on TV that it can be hard to actually watch the movie -- it's too familiar, and you know it too well. It's almost descended into a three-hour long cliche. (Heresy, I know!)