NEW YORK – Sleekly fashioned from steel and glass, carefully sculpted with brick and marble, today’s buildings are judged on exterior aesthetics as well as increased interior function. They have much in common, then, with today’s automobiles, now designed as sustainable, efficient methods of transportation as well as high-tech works of art.
It’s with those comparisons in mind that Ford Motor Company has joined with the American Institute for Architects (AIANY) New York Chapter to celebrate “Archtober,” a month-long festival of architecture activities, programs and exhibitions in New York City.
Ford and AIANY are hosting “Ford and Architecture,” a luncheon panel featuring Ford automotive design experts and New York-based architects who will discuss how societal trends influence and inspire both the architectural and automotive industries.
“There are many parallels between architecture and automotive design,” says Jeff Nield,
manager, Strategic Design Vision and Futuring for Ford. “Both disciplines are based around a human-informed creative process. In each case, people will spend significant lengths of time experiencing the exterior and interior.”
Whether designing a building or a car, it is essential to create an emotional connection through a design that is functional and timeless, but also responsible, he says. Now both must provide a multitude of offerings for their inhabitants, from increased sustainability and efficiency to a visual aesthetic that is unique and desirable.
Successful designs, whether they’re automotive or architectural, provide an engaging visual journey, he says. They also tell the story of what’s inside through clear exterior cues. In the case of the all-new Ford Fusion, its innovative silhouette and technical graphics offer a design that draws in the customer with its elegant form and hint to the unsurpassed fuel efficiency and high technology within.
Both industries are evolving quickly, says Cynthia Phifer Kracauer, AIA, managing director. Their very existence depends on the shifting ideals of the consumers who inhabit them; designers need to keep their fingers on the pulse of that change to stay successful.
“You can already see how sustainable materials and technologies are providing more efficient uses of energy resources in architecture,” she says. “As material science, energy engineering and smart technologies evolve, you will see even more changes in our cities and in our cars.”
On the panel:
•Moderator: Rick Bell, Executive Director of the AIA New York Chapter
•Jeff Nield, manager, Strategic Design Vision and Futuring for Ford Motor Company
•Donald Albrecht, curator of Architecture and Design, Museum of the City of New York
•Jill Lerner, fellow of the American Institute of Architects, principal, Kohn Pederson Fox Associates