Notices

Michelle Christensen: 2nd Generation Designer

 
Old 05-12-2015, 08:53 AM
  #41  
'09 TL SH AWD Tech
 
Tonyware's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,632
Received 340 Likes on 248 Posts
We have been talking about Michelle, but here comes John Norman, the interior design guy:

Link: john norman discusses the 2015 acura NSX interior design
Tonyware is offline  
The following users liked this post:
TSX69 (05-13-2015)
Old 05-13-2015, 10:36 AM
  #42  
Registered Member
Thread Starter
 
TSX69's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,287
Received 1,179 Likes on 558 Posts
Wink For Those Who Do Not Want to Click


every since high school, john norman was determined to be a car designer for the rest of his life. with that spirit, he works at acura and heads the interior layout of the 2nd generation supercar hybrid íNSXí, which was introduced at the 2015 north american international auto show. he graduate from college for creative studies in detroit and has worked on many luxury cars for acura. with the japanese mid engined classic, john and michelle christensen had to find a balance between the iconic race car persona and the established luxury needs that the automotive brand is known for. designboom caught up with him to discuss his background, inspirations and the challenges in designing the íNSXí model.


design boom (DB): what originally made you want to become a designer?

john norman (JN): as a child i thought cars were incredibly cool. i loved the way they looked, how they felt and even how they smelled. i also loved to draw and made elaborate models of helicopters and boats of my own design out of legos. my parents never bought me the fancy lego kits they have today! i started drawing cars for fun around the 6th grade. sketching regular cars was boring so i started to draw my own designs. that was more fun. i didnít know car design was a potential career until i was in high school and automobile magazine ran an article about the college for creative studies (CCS) in detroit. it included photos of car design sketches and models. i was blown away and decided right then that car design was what i wanted to do with my life.

DB: who / what has been the biggest influence on your work to date?

JN: the 1st influence is other car designers that came before me. there has been so much great car design done over the last 100 years. we are all in their debt. old ferrariís are very pretty. late 20ís and 30ís american cars are so beautiful and grand. a 2nd influence would be movie design. the vehicle designs in star wars were a tremendous influence on me. watching those movies is when i 1st started to become aware that the world could be designed. the final influence would be nature and animals. what i do as a designer is only a crude imitation of the exquisite beauty of plants and animals found in the world. in particular i love sea life. the monterey bay aquarium is 1 of my favorite places in the world. the shapes, colors, patterns and extraordinary appearance of sea animals are almost unbelievable. iíve spent hours there wandering around in wonder and amazement.



DB: what was your 1st car and what was your dream car when growing up?

JN: my 1st real car was a 1983 volkswagen scirocco. it was black on black with a 5 speed manual and i just loved it. i bought it for $800 with money i made working at the grocery store in the summer. it was always breaking and i loved working on it with a good friend. i would drive it from boston to detroit a few times a year during college. eventually the brutal detroit winters took their toll and it started looking rough. so I took off the bumpers and convinced some of my classmates at CCS to help me ďpaintĒ the car. we took leftover car paint we had from model making and went out behind the school at night to paint the car. the idea was that i would drive by and my classmates would throw paint on the car creating a bootleg jackson pollack effect. we were making a terrible mess when the cops showed up. they didnít care about the street vandalism but instead advised we acquire firearms for our own personal safety. the car looked punk rock when it was finished and drew very different reactions. the normal people hated it, the skate punk kids thought it was rad!


DB: what were the toughest stages when designing the interior of the 2nd generation acura NSX?

JN: the hardest part was when i joined the initial design team in our main studio in tokyo japan for 4 months. we were setting the design direction and communication was a big challenge. i learned that different cultures have very different ideas about what a supercar should be. i think in the end we were able to find common ground. tokyo is an amazing city and i have some great friends there but at times you can feel lost. 2 of my favorite memories was when work was cancelled for the day due to a typhoon. the rain and wind was blowing so hard it was literally knocking men over in the street.

DB: could you describe the personality of the NSXís interior and how you were able to establish it?

JN: the interior personality of the NSX is serious, performance driven, precise and luxuriously crafted. we worked hard to find that balance of no nonsense pure sports car functionality while make it alluring and sexy at the same time. that required a lot of sketching, high level communication and imagination. it wasnít easy!

DB: how were you able to translate the exterior design into the interior, and also ensure that the inside lived up to expectations 1st perceived, when viewing the outside?

JN: the NSX interior design wasnít considered in that fashion. while there was an overall NSX project concept we have separate interior and exterior design concepts. the needs and customer expectations of both are very different. the interior design of the NSX was focused on high speed vehicle control and function. the performance requirements are severe and demanded a thoughtful approach. while the new NSX is a very high performance car it also needs to be luxurious and comfortable to be in. our interior design concept was the human support cockpit. our goal was to create an interior that helped you drive at the limit of the NSXís considerable performance while also being somewhere you could spend quality time.


DB: how does a new project evolve? does the interior design follow on from the exterior or is it inspired from other influences?

JN: the interior and exterior designs are developed simultaneously. we both have our separate influences and inspiration. ultimately they both must join to create 1 vehicle. thatís where the fighting comes in.

DB: how do acuraís interiors keep up with developing technologies such as infotainment centers, connectivity and augment reality, and what did you want to include for this NSX?

JN: you will be seeing more and more cutting edge technologies in acura interiors going forward. for the NSX the interior technology application is subtle. in effect we wanted the interior of the car to vanish when driving at speed. we worked hard to minimize distractions and anything unnecessary. we wanted the focus to be on a pure and enjoyable sports car driving experience.


DB: if acura were to develop a 3rd-generation, what would be some key features and technologies that you would expect the interior to include?

JN: a 3rd generation NSX would continue with the packaging (how people fit in and see out of, operate, etc.) excellence of the original and 2nd generation. i think we would use technology to make it seem like there is less technology. in a way like what apple does with their products. the technology would be used to create a seamless and easy user experience.

DB: what are you passionate about besides your work?

JN: i love music and going to movies. i am always humbled and inspired by the work of great musicians and filmmakers. i love that the best music and film is something you can experience again and again and still learn something new, experience a different feeling. i truly enjoy their contributions to the world of art and experience.

DB: whatís your personal motto?

JN: i donít have a motto but more of a life purpose. i am thankful for this amazing world i was born into. i am thankful for all of the hard work many smart and talented people put into making this world better many times at their mortal peril. clothing, shelter, astronomy, electric light, airplanes, space travel, television, personal computers, modern medicine, the internetÖ.the list is literally endless. if i can, in whatever small way through car design, contribute to that great legacy of advancement i will consider myself fortunate and my life well spent.
TSX69 is offline  
Old 05-13-2015, 12:46 PM
  #43  
'09 TL SH AWD Tech
 
Tonyware's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,632
Received 340 Likes on 248 Posts
Regardless of what the new NSX turns out to be... anyone who saved $800 in the 80's to buy a VW Sirocco is my hero! Bet you that junk on wheels made a mechanic out of him
Tonyware is offline  
Old 05-14-2015, 08:15 PM
  #44  
'09 TL SH AWD Tech
 
Tonyware's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,632
Received 340 Likes on 248 Posts
Johnathan Norman and how the NSX was born. Some of his personal experiences and how ideas took shape...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MU8C_bxR2Ow#t=20
Tonyware is offline  
Old 06-21-2015, 07:15 AM
  #45  
Grandpa
 
George Knighton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Virginia, Besieged
Age: 63
Posts: 7,298
Received 2,513 Likes on 1,419 Posts
Originally Posted by weather View Post
I thought she had left after the ZDX....
It's funny how that works.

Although both the ZDX and the 4G TL were miserable sales results, it looks like Honda still loved them for the good cars they were, regardless.

Speaking as someone who had a 2010 TL 6-6 SH-AWD, it was an incredible and vastly underrated car.

Very high quality manufacture, and capable of performance that testers didn't seem to be able to access.

I'm sure Hargett thought he'd lose his job, too, but there he was right there on the floor demonstrating the 5G TLX, which vehicle he was also in charge of, evidently.
George Knighton is offline  
Old 06-21-2015, 07:18 AM
  #46  
Grandpa
 
George Knighton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Virginia, Besieged
Age: 63
Posts: 7,298
Received 2,513 Likes on 1,419 Posts
Originally Posted by Tonyware View Post
Johnathan Norman and how the NSX was born. Some of his personal experiences and how ideas took shape...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MU8C_bxR2Ow#t=20
Are those big paddles actually mounted to the steering column?



Wow, finally.

(If it's true.)
George Knighton is offline  
Old 06-21-2015, 07:21 AM
  #47  
Grandpa
 
George Knighton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Virginia, Besieged
Age: 63
Posts: 7,298
Received 2,513 Likes on 1,419 Posts
oops. Maybe not.

:-(

I wish people would get serious about this. If you're on the track in a car with power steering, you're going to be shuffle steering in many places, especially carousel.

Your hands will stay in basically the same place, but the steering wheel's turning, so you need paddles to be on the steering column.

I don't like Ferrari at all, but this is one of the things that Ferrari does right.
George Knighton is offline  
Old 06-21-2015, 09:24 PM
  #48  
'09 TL SH AWD Tech
 
Tonyware's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,632
Received 340 Likes on 248 Posts
I still haven't decided where I want the paddles mounted, on the wheel or the column? I drove a Nissan GTR last year and had to lift my left hand from the wheel on a right turn to downshift. In my TL I keep my hands on the wheel and I am always aware where the paddles are. But on the GTR it took me a lot less time to get use to them, than as I recall originally in my TL.

So, I was thinking that mounting the paddles on the column, that you only find on high end cars... is a marketing gimmick. Acura of course, well, marketing? Whats that? LOL.
Tonyware is offline  
Old 06-22-2015, 06:26 AM
  #49  
Grandpa
 
George Knighton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Virginia, Besieged
Age: 63
Posts: 7,298
Received 2,513 Likes on 1,419 Posts
Originally Posted by Tonyware View Post
So, I was thinking that mounting the paddles on the column, that you only find on high end cars... is a marketing gimmick.
Go through the Carousel at Summit Point or Lime Rock and you'll realize it's not a gimmick.

:-)

People don't shuffle steer the way they should, but shuffle steering is why the paddles are on the steering column.

At the end of a long straight into Turn One, you're going to be trail braking and need to shift in the turn...so you want them on the steering column!

When you start your driver training, you might be taught that you should not shift in a corner. But by the time you're Ĺ way through your driver training, you'll realize that to be fast, it is absolutely essential.

I think this is why some people are so die-hard to keep manual transmissions. It could be because manufacturers keep putting the paddles on the steering wheel, making them useless for people on the track, so these people want to keep using manual transmissions.

That's just a guess, of course. Most of the manual transmission people could just be die hard anti-progress.

With paddles mounted on the steering wheel, they're on good in a drag race. But...in a drag race, the car shifts perfectly fine by itself. So in reality, and strictly IMHO, it's the paddles on the steering wheel that are a gimmick.
George Knighton is offline  
 
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
rp_guy
Member Cars for Sale
9
07-16-2017 07:33 AM
RSpyder
Car Parts for Sale
5
09-30-2015 12:46 AM
joflewbyu2
Fifth Generation TLX (2015+)
0
09-23-2015 11:16 PM


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Michelle Christensen: 2nd Generation Designer


Contact Us - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.