Monday, August 15, 2011

Too much bling, not enough thought.

I think I've covered this before but one of the most irritating design 'features' that manufacturers insist on putting in their cars is chrome. It has no place inside a vehicle, and you could rightly argue that it has no place on the outside either. The problem with putting something as highly reflective as chrome or wood veneer on the inside of a car is that the reflection of the sun can be blinding when it catches you at the right angle. Interior surfaces should be matte so they don't run the risk of such reflections, especially the top of the dashboard. With the sun in the right place, you can easily get to the point where there is so much dash reflection on the inside of your windscreen that it becomes properly difficult to see out.
I think the problem is that too many manufacturers associate chrome and shiny things with quality and workmanship. They seem to believe that a chrome strip on the dash, or a shiny mirrored ring around a gauge or clock somehow demonstrates quality or exclusivity. In truth, these sorts of things just cheapen the look of stuff now. Modern aesthetics demand finely textured materials and surfaces, plush seating, touchable plastics and moody lighting.
And chrome wheels? Nothing says "drug dealer" (or person with no sense of taste) quicker than a car with massive chrome wheels on it. If you're going to put aftermarket wheels on your ride, make sure they're matte silver or black.

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