Self-Driving Cars and other good design

a guest post by Sandy Quang

1968 Jean-Pierre-Ponthieu concept-car of the future. Some ideas just never get the respect they deserve.
Inspired by a short conversation about self-driving cars this weekend, I decided they would be a wonderful thing to investigate. Imagine what a car that didn’t have to dedicate a quarter of its internal real estate to navigation would look like.
Would the shape of a self-driving car even stay the same?
The most well-known examples are Google’s self-driving cars, powered by software called Google Chauffeur. As with any newly-designed product, driverless cars are bug-prone and still need lots of testing. But the appeal of this idea is not only functional, but aesthetic.
Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion Car, 1933.
In the early twentieth century, a famous American designer, Henry Dreyfuss, embraced the Streamline aesthetic, improving the look and feel of American transportation and consumer products. Dreyfuss pioneered the full-sized plasticine car model.
A BMW prototype carved in industrial plasticine. How much nicer if they were made of chocolate.

The process of designing cars themselves itself, for people who love to create, is an art itself and can often be overlooked. If you depart from the ideas of what current cars look like, the possibilities are amazing. 
One more workshop left this year, and it starts a week from today! Join me or let me know if you’re interested in painting with me in 2014. Click here for more information on my Maine workshops!
Carol Douglas

About Carol Douglas

Carol L. Douglas is a painter who lives, works and teaches in Rockport, ME. Her annual workshop will again be held on the Schoodic Peninsula in beautiful Acadia National Park, from August 6-11, 2017. Visit for more information.