Perth, Western Australia

Sunday, May 16, 2010


l. f. cooke.
born 12th of may 1990.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Subtle human aesthetics in Italian Car design.

Design experience 100 in class presentation.

viewer discretion advised, presentation contains low level nudity.

Many people believe that automotive design is indicative of the human form.
It is commonly accepted that the Italian car designers, such as Giorgetto Giugiaro of Bertone fame, created cars that reflected aspects or connotations relating to parts of the human anatomy.
It is deciphering the gender of these aspects which is the most difficult part in understanding the motives behind them.

LIke it or not, cars are designed to appeal to the the demographic the car manufacturer is targeting. In this presentation i will look closely at Italian made cars from 1945 to 1975, and
in particular a body shape known as the Coupé - a hardtop sports car where the number of doors and sometimes seats are reduced from 4 to 2.

We can safely say that the Coupé is a shape targeted towards Men - in its impracticality, implied speed and of course aesthetics.
In my opinion its form follows that of the female body.
It's sexy, nimble, wide hipped and buxom.
She is a woman, not a girl. Whose persona would be an attractive, Crisp black blouse, high waisted skirt wearing St Georges Terrace Chartered Accountant. Single and 'straight laced' during the week, with weekends spent drinking far too much and letting her hair down.
The ever reliable fall back. The kind of girl you can take to breakfast on a sunday morning, and be happy every man in the room is staring at her.
For arguments sake i shall henceforth refer to all cars as 'she'.

i digress.

In terms of car design features and the human anatomy, I have chosen to break them up into 4 separate categories.

the eyes

the mouth

the nose

and the hips and chest.

We will continue in sequential order.

The eyes are commonly referred to as 'the windows to our souls'.
The headlights of a car closely resemble eyes, in their form and location.
They sit up high, and are directed forward. Without them at night, nothing is visible. She is in control, she leads the way - and it is comforting.
A situation where a woman can make a man feel secure.

Designer Marchello Gandini used pre-existing Fiat 850 headlights and surrounded them with the now well-known 'eyelashes' slatts for the Lamborghini Miura, visible below. This feature is the best known on the car. A car which is reputed, by Wheels Magazine, the be the worlds sexiest.

Coupled with the tight lip type grille, the eyelashes flutter and offer the expression 'you can't be cross with little old me'.
She is adorable. Men can identify with her.

Which brings us to the Mouth.
Guiseppe Merosi was responsible for the unmistakable Alfa Romeo grille. Its presence remains a constant in all of their models, and is only altered slightly by each individual designer.

Alfa Romeo: an early 101 series c.1960 and my 1966 105 series sprint GT Veloce.

The Alfa grille is often referred to as the 'heart', but to me it is more similar to pursed or opened lips.

Design firm Zagato even went as far as to add a gloss coat to the lips of their 1969 to 1975 Alfa Romeo Junior Z, with the addition of a single full width sheet of perspex.

For a fast and hectic life, she needs a big mouth to get the top of the ladder.

As we know, above the mouth is the nose
The human nose, with its prominent bridge, its elongated tip and its down-turned nostrils, is unique.
Our nearest living relatives, the monkeys and apes, have nothing quite like it. Those that do have a long snout also have a long face to match. Cars like the Maserati Seabring have a long snout on a flat face.

Designer Alfredo Vignale created a defined nose, with a septum clearly visible in the Maserati badge. Her keen nostrils flared.
The nose acts as a shield, a bony (or steel) piece of armor helping to protect our eyes. It can act as a shield against dust and wind driven dirt. There are considerable racial differences in nose shape, as there are differences in shape between models and manufacturers.

Modern designers have tended to steer clear of large noses on cars.
To understand the decline of the nose, in terms of beauty assessment, we have to look back at the kind of proboscis with which we pushed our way into the world. As babies we all posses tiny, button noses. As we progress through childhood these small projections grow in proportion to the rest of the face and reach their greatest level with adulthood.

So it follows that a small nose = a young nose. Add to this situation a 'cult youth' and the consequence is clear: the smaller your nose the younger you look.

For the female face the situation is more acute, because men on average have larger noses than women. So, to be youthfully feminine it is doubly important to have a small nose. It is at this point cosmetic surgery enters the scene.

For men, the female form is extremely appealing.

instinct draws us to the breasts and buttocks of the female form.

The hemispherical shape of the breasts is not a parental development.
It is concerned instead with sexual signaling.
This means that suggestions that mens' interest in womens' breasts is 'infantile' or 'regressive' is unfounded.
The origin of paired hemispheres of human female sexual signal is not hard to find. The females of all the primates display their sexual signals backwards from the rump region as they walk about on all fours.

Their sexual swellings are key stimuli which excite their males.
The rump signals of the human female consist of unique paired hemispheres, the bottocks. These can act as powerful erotic signals when she is seen from behind.
The Porche 911, albeit German, shows this best.

She stands upright and is encountered frontally in most social contexts. When she stands face to face with a male her rump signals are concealed from view, but the evolution of a pair of mimic-buttocks on her chest enables her to continue to transmit the primeval sexual signal without turning her back on the companion, like an ape would.

Which brings us to the most sexually charged Car, in my opinion, of all time.
the Ferrari Dino.

She has big roung eyes, a coy smile with shining lips.
Her chest and waist in perfect proportion.
Her rump abruptly ending in a 'Kamm tail'. Created by aerodynamicist Wunibald Kamm in the 1930's to smooth contours and reduce air resistance.

She is a fine looking lady.