The end of car designers
The end of car designers - Personal Thesis - July 2018 - IAAD, Turin (IT).

Michele Farina.
Materialise, main partner of the project.
Other partners:
Etra Project - ex Chris Bangle designer (Pietro Nume) and engineer (Matteo Barale)
Co-de-iT - Marco Palma, code development and 3d printing engineering
Humatics - A.I. spin-off of University of Verona
Cognitive Metrix - Startup of perceptive psychology
The end of car designers
"The end of car designer" is not an apocalyptic vision (hope so), is instead about an act of love towards:
The person, so car designer;
and the object: 
Why do our cars look like that? What's the evolution behind these forms?
It's quite ancient and it's basically: power train in front + people in the back.
Nowadays technological and energetic progress is insane. From electric to autonomous but...
What car designer are drawing, is still the same. Here I see a lost oppurtunity for car designers, here I see the death of car design. Our incapability of innovate beauty and forms.
This thesis will try to change the progress of car designing and of form finding.
That's the famous "skateboard", people think it will be the future of car. Engine in the wheels, battery in the platform, that's all.
In the upper part, the infinite and also irrational freedom of human creativity.
Even if sometimes, also an apparent irrationality hides
beautiful things.

That's the Weisman Art Museum, first big project of Frenk O. Gehry, maybe the biggest of deconstructivism movement.
And talking about deconstructivism, I "deconstructed" our nowaday car designing process, in order to change something in it, hoping in the "Butterfly Effect" of Edward Lorenz, so small changing in the process = big changes in the results.
For doing that I used a quite new software in car industry: Grasshopper. A parametric 3D modeling software, used by Zaha Hadid and ZHA.
I started with a 2D deconstruction, simulating with a single algorithm the proportion research that a car designer is used to do at the beginning of a project.
After that I would try to see if it was possible to create an entire car with parametric modeling in the same ways car designer does with Alias and similar softwares.
The algorithm was massive and the result quite bulky but it was enough to prove that could be done.
The designer has a new role: setup really well the limits of the sliders, the limits of the creation in order to avoid crashes.
So through the algorithm I've started to move sliders in order to find new forms.
But all this new process needed a technological and industrial realisation.
I found the way to the feasibility in the intersection between computational design (the one I was doing) and additive manufacturing (3D printing).

“Our greatest invention in the past 200 years was not a particular gadget or tool but the invention of the scientific process itself.” 
― Kevin Kelly, The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future
Computational design gives us fast and almost illimitate variability. 3D printing gives us tailor made products. The use of both together could bring us to a revolution:

A single creation's process of unique and tailor made products, but in mass production.
We use sliders everyday on our phones for example. The same sliders I was using in the previous video. Every value an unequivocal result.
So what I want to do is create an algorithm that takes something about a person as input and gives as an output car forms based on these people's values.

Designer stays between people and cars, he becomes a bridge, a translator from humans to forms.
Morphogenerator of Souls.

The video shows the circularity of the process: from human to human forms.

This algorithm takes human input (of 2 types) and outputs a "Soul", that means an automotive sculpture that embodies human inputs in forms.
First input: a psychological test. 

Users reply to a survey about automotive forms and texturing/pattern related to emotions. After that there is a small personality test.

All developed with Cognitive Metrix, a start-up of perceptive psychology.
This test is linked to the basic form of the Soul, to the main architecture of it.
Second input: face analysis.

With the help of Humatics (an A.I. spin-off of the university of Verona, IT), the user can upload or open his camera and take a picture of his own face. This neural net recognizes the x,y coordinates of all the element of our face; glasses or not; hair or bald; gender and age; but the most interesting thing is that it can give us a percentage of the main emotions from 0 to 1.
I focused on the emotions of the face because it's the only common language of comunication through all the mankind, no matter the age, the ethnicity, gender, hystorical epoch and so on.
It's not only the unique but it's also the on of the first way that neonates has to comunicate and understand of other people, most of all their parents.
I linked face emotions from A.I. analysis to a texturization of the surface.
After some deep researches: from psychology...
to the art world...
I created a new "Vocabulary" based on E-motion. The world "E-motion" takes its origin from the symbol of energy in physics: E . Plus "motion", so it measure the level of energy and movement in a texture.

My collection of texture started from graphic design pattern, to architecture, to fluidodynamics shots, arriving also to some abstract artist. I ordered these images, evaluating them in a scale of E-motion, basing myself on order-disorder and curvy-edgy
So taking a single person (so only one basic form) in relation with user's emotions in the picture user we can have a lot of texturing.
That's the "Metamorphosis of Soul", from lines to NURBS surfaces, to Mesh to 3D texturized Mesh.
So the algorithm was completed, now you can see it looking randomly for forms, textures and colours too.
I definitely could have infinite results thanks to the combination of forms, textures and colours.
Among this illimitate range, I chose 5 Souls, 5 formals representation of the most important people who permitted to realize this project.
LALIB is made by Alessio (Materialise), represent a male of the age of 42 and the main emotion is Surprise, 72,3%.
You can notice that Alessio is quite a shy man. The belt line is going toward the centre to symbolize this closeness, creating this 2 crests in the front.
ZAGIR is made by Laura (IAAD director), represent a female of the age of 46 and the main emotion is Surprise, 73,4%.
As you can see, the lower line create a void in the frontal part. This should remember the wheel arc. I connected female to front-wheel drive and male to rear-wheel drive.
GIREL is made by Marco (Co-de-it), represent a male of the age of 31 and the main emotion is Anger, 45,7%.
Anger could be feel from the edgy curves, strait lines and also a quide sharp texture. Also colours are an important part and red was the colour for anger, as you can see it's not a strong red but more an orange because the main emotion was quite low, 45,7%, not really predominant.
RUZIP is made by Pietro (Etra project), represent a male of the age of 29 and the main emotion is Neutrality, 94,5%.
Pietro is a crazy car designer with some really advance ideas and visions. So that's why the proportion are as a concept car: a low and long sculpture to embody his dreaming personality.
LOPOT is made by me, represent a male of the age of 23 and the main emotion is surprisingly: fear 56,5%.
In opposition to LALIB with these closed crests, mine are really open because I'm a really extrovert person. Curious fact: also the names are created by my algorithm from personality test, interspersing vocals and consonants.
I chose fear as my main emotion in the photo I uploaded, for a concrete reason.
Chris Bangle one time told us (students of car design in IAAD) "Which monsters we fear?" as car designer? Where is our non-confortable zone?
I think our main fear is to not control all the process of growing of a car, we stay on our draws for hours and hours in a kind of perverse process, if I can say it, a sort of aesthetic masturbation.
In this way I would like to show that we can go out of our mind box and try with new creative processes.
We can care more about the way we create instead of what we create at the end. We can care about the process of creation, set right limits and right rules and let the creation be, like setting the rules of the game and after let's the children playing without our redundant intermission.

That's all, thank you if you read until here.

Michele Farina.
Here a few photos of the discussion and of the tangible results.
The end of car designers

The end of car designers

From people to sculpures, from emotions to texture and colours, from psychology to forms.