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At some point in the recently published correspondence between WF Hermans and Rudy Kousbroek (Machines en Emoties, De Bezige Bij, 2009) the famed writer confesses that he simply fails to see any sign of aerodynamic design in the early Voisins. Kousbroek in his turn makes the point that ‘modern cars’, (this is 1965 or so) with their double curved surfaces were the beginning of the end. Admittedly, these double curved shapes -like a woman’s breast- had a Freudian appeal, but in order to produce these double curved car bodies, carmakers had to invest large sums in development and production dies and presses, and consequently needed to make and sell more cars, leading to mass-production and the loss of authenticity and identity. The purest and most heroic design effort in Kousbroek’s view had been to use ‘simple bends’ as he calls them, in the pre-war era of the great automobile.

Heroic or not, ruled surfaces have stuck around, in shipbuilding and in architecture. 3-d software has made it easier to create irrational shapes using rational developable surfaces. The exterior of the Peter B. Lewis Building in Cleveland, Ohio, designed by Frank Gehry, is except for a few sq. feet, a ruled, developable surface.

Surface design method

Conventional metal car body panels are either made using deep drawing with huge presses or by a craftsman who will work days or even weeks on a single panel...Read more

Highly efficient Cooling System

Most car climate control systems have the same issues: they are an energy drain, they are highly inefficient... Read more

Highly efficient Energy Storage System

Energy storage takes up about 50-100 liter of the interior space of an automobile, and in transport vehicles up to 400... Read more

Clever car entry system

Ever increasing use of the automobile, combined with decreasing parking facilities have made it... Read more

Car Body Construction and Easy Assembly

A major issue with today’s automobiles is the fact that the time and cost of development and production of dies for car body panels is such... Read more

Adaptable Car Interior

Car interiors are becoming more and more like wombs. Like the double-curved exteriors... Read more

Insightful Instrument Panel

One thing we found missing in today’s instrument panels is a total lack of genuine feeback... Read more

Safe Car-function Operation

Every time we take our eyes off the road, there is a slim chance that things will go wrong. We have devised a way... Read more