NEW YORK - Ford Group Vice President of Design J Mays participated recently in a panel discussion with New York-based architects and innovators to talk about the parallels between architecture and design – specifically New York City buildings and Ford F-Series Trucks.
The interactive web event, called Design with a Purpose, featured Erik Churchill, project manager at SHoP Construction and Steven Colletta, vice president of Sciame Construction and was hosted by Ford and the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIANY). It was moderated by Rick Bell, executive director of the AIANY.
“With trucks, every surface and feature must be crafted for utility while retaining an unmistakable Built Ford Tough look,” said J Mays, Ford group vice president and chief creative officer. “Trucks are similar to architecture, in that a building must clearly convey its use. Once inside the building, its layout needs to be practical, with intuitive features to assist the person occupying it. A truck operates the same way, with intelligent design that can complement the lifestyle of the person driving it.”
Speaking of New York’s Barclays Center, which was designed by SHoP Construction, Churchill said, “I think it starts with understanding how . . . people are going to use the building and when you come out of the third busiest transit hub in New York underneath the Atlantic Center and you imagine that you want to instantly be engaged with the sights and sounds of the stadium experience,” he said.
The group also discussed efficiency in terms of the way things get built. Mays pointed to Ford history and the Model T.
“The actual floor board for the Model T was made out of the boxes that the components were shipped in,” he said. “So that was Henry Ford already thinking about not wasting material and how do we get the most efficient use out of every single piece of material that we have.”
Colletta says there is a lot of waste in building construction.
“If you look at the hundreds of yards of containers and debris that we throw out a day at construction sites I think . . . we have to do a better job to really try to optimize efficiencies to get the construction industry more in line with limiting waste and bringing down the cost,” he said.
The group also discussed the importance of bringing sustainability into the automotive and construction fields.
Mays pointed to the EcoBoost engine available in the Ford F-150.
“When you start to increase the fuel efficiency on these vehicles and the EcoBoost engine you have in the (F-150) improves the fuel efficiency on that vehicle over the previous generation by 20 percent and then you multiply that by the number of trucks that are actually on the road that starts to be significant impact on the environment,” he said.
Churchill added, “To speak to your Ford truck and the EcoBoost engine, I think there is a great lesson in there for architecture in urban planning as well . . . I think we’re demanding multiple functions from individual things in order to increase efficiency . . . and build a better future . . . for our urban cities.”
If you like to view the Design with a Purpose panel discussion in its entirety, please visit http://inhabitat.com/design-with-a-purpose-webcast/.