At the Japanese launch of the Volkswagen Up!, VW’s design chief Walter de’ Silva told a group of assembled journalists that “overdesign”, his term for the recent spate of flamboyantly styled vehicles is now passe, and that the future belongs to clean, minimalist design.
A blurb in AN quotes the legendary designer as saying
“It can’t be only for one or two seasons,” de’ Silva says. “People want to understand what they buy. There is a certain security in our design. When you know that it keeps the resale value, it’s important for a family. That’s our intention.”
Naturally, de’ Silva praised vehicles like the Golf for offering “timeless” design that endures through various trends. The AN article cites cars like the Hyundai Sonata, Ford Fusion and BMW 3-Series as examples of the current “overdesign” trend (though stops short of quoting de’ Silva as offering them up as examples), and while myself and much of the B&B likes these cars, the fickle nature of design and the auto industry’s penchant for rapid change makes it an interesting question; is the pendulum moving the other way?
From my totally uneducated perspective, design, especially for a global vehicle, seems to be governed first and foremost by the dreadful European pedestrian safety regulations; the blunt front ends necessitate the high belt lines, and stubby ass-ends, which in turn call for oversized wheels that look appropriate but add mass and degrade ride quality.
But what do I know? I leave the design critiques to Sajeev and pontificate about everything else. Is de’ Silva on the right path?