Well, to begin with, this article from the New York Times. It’s about a guy named Chris Bangle, also known as the person who’s ruining BMW’s. But that’s not why I know who he is. I know who he is because I saw him in the catalog for the first school I went to. I remember being really excited because I wanted to go into automotive design and here was a guy who went to the same school as I was going to and now he had the job that I wanted. But now, after seeing some of his work, I’m kind of ashamed to even be familiar with him or to ever have wanted anything to do with BMW. I’m also kind of jealous of his power over bringing this crap to production. I had originally thought of BMW, as a company, as a sort of sanctuary. They’d already had a well-established design direction, and there was no possible way to screw it up. But somehow, they did. That makes me sad, and thinking that perhaps my new sanctuary will be Audi, except that now they’ve got that new Pike’s Peak thing, which for all the world looks like a Touareg from the back.
But anyway, back to Bangle. He’s a dork. That’s harsh. I don’t suppose he’s actually really a dork. Probably more like a misdirected designer, or something like that. Slate has this article about him. Or the Z4, rather. I think that’s probably pretty accurate. I don’t really know about that car. I mean, it almost looks ok in pictures, but I just don’t get it, I guess. It’s pretty homely, and I have seen it in person. I cannot honestly believe that Automobile actually awarded Bangle and the Z4 man and design of the year, respectively. It hurts me inside. Speaking of the inside, I have no qualms with that. I really like the “layering” effect BMW has been doing with their newer vehicles, like the 7 and Z4. But the outside (of the Z4 especially) just asks “why me?” On a final note, there’s this petition to apparently keep Chris Bangle from designing any more vehicles, or something like that. I’m not sure if that’s going to be effective, but I do know that “flame surfacing” is really a strange phrase.