Project Opel H

I know.

I know it’s an Opel. I know it’s not even a real Opel. And I know the design is flawed in a lot of ways so it could never be a real Opel.

But it’s cool.

 

But why does it exist? Is there any benefit? Well, yes.

Concepts like this are clearly not really intended for production. I can see that. Any engineer worth their title would immediately point out ten times as many issues as I could. But even so, there’s a value to this kind of concept existing – even if it’s just a load of memory sat on a server.

The halo effect of having interesting and intriguing concepts like this associated with a brand is worth the money to back the ideas. And from these 99% useless concepts – the remaining 1% of it could be the next big thing, and that has a value.

Next, they’re a way to gauge public opinion on design, plus a way to snare young talented designers early into your own nest, and finally – crucially – a way to bump up views for your own content online and let your favourite search engine know that your website is a good one. People lingering around on your website is a great sign to search engines. Rich and varied content, whilst maintaining relevancy and focus are, too. Which means when people visit their favourite search engine and type in the terms you’re hoping to attract (maybe ‘cool cars’), your domain has a greater reputation and pops up nearer the top.

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Companies would pay a lot of money to do that.

The modern age and graphics technology has also made these concepts all the more available to budding artists and renderers, with no regrets if you mess up – you can just click ‘undo’. I’d argue ctrl-Z and its Mac cousin cmd-Z are some of the most important and under-appreciated parts of modern life… so it’s not like carving a concept car out of clay like the old days any more.

This means the designers can play around, try something wacky, and even come up with cloned designs instantly to subtly reconfigure at will. Chuck in quick colour changes, dynamic backgrounds and even moving imagery and this current age of concept car creation is much less limited than before – much less limited in terms of time, and by what the tech can do – meaning there’s more time for the creativity to really shine.

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Look at these cracking futuristic designs. Who’s the hero here?

The designer (in this case, Roman Zenin)? The car manufacturer for backing it (Opel)? Or the software and hardware engineers, for allowing this kind of creativity to happen, and be shared? Or maybe the early pioneers of computer aided design?

Or is it the public, for an insatiable appetite to see great visions of the future, and to use this desire to seek out visual treats – ultimately getting the company more money by buying the cars from the ‘cool’ manufacturer, and financing the whole shebang?

Could it actually be the search engines, for helping people find this stuff without the owners having to show it to them? Maybe it’s whoever invented the ‘undo’ functionality which lets people try things out without fear of cocking it up?

There’s a case for all of them, and you’ll have your own views. Whether you think I’m 100% wrong on all counts or there’s a few bits you agree with, let me know in the comments.

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