2020: HOW TO DESIGN A CAR
THE HUMBLE PEN and sketchpad have never played smaller roles in car styling than in 2020, at least in VW’s design studio. Bischoff uses digital tools even for initial sketches.
“I work with digital sketchpads to draw up ideas quickly and share them,” he says. “The advantage is you can erase, colour, zoom in and out and use multiple tools. You can transfer a very rough drawing into a rendered design and then carry on detailing, changing proportions with tools we use throughout the whole team. Everyone can see what their colleague is doing, and you can comment.”
The tech makes detailing a lot easier as well. The honeycomb grille would not have been feasible without raw computing power. Designers input certain parameters to create the honeycomb, and can then adjust the shape and size of the holes infinitely. “In the past this needed months of changes and is done now in minutes or seconds,” says Bischoff.
Despite all the fancy software and hardware, a good old fashioned clay model is still crucial for when a design nears completion and needs to be presented to the board for sign-off. Computer wizardry has saved time and improved design, but Bischoff maintains the process cannot shift entirely to the digital realm. “Data is not tangible so, to a certain degree, for the final touches you need physical representations. For this reason a model is still a very valued instrument,” he says.