For Mercedes-Benz, the 2011 North American International Detroit Auto Show is not just about displaying its latest automobile offerings or even showcasing its recent technical innovations. It is also about capturing the people’s attention using art.
For the show, the brand’s Interior Design has managed to make a sculpture that conveys in a visual manner the inspiration of designers. It also allows for a chance to show the creative artistic process involved in designing the interior. Named as Mercedes-Benz Aesthetics No. 2, it demonstrates the aesthetics of sustainability while remaining focused on perfect forms found in nature that are the result of millions of years of evolution.
The sculpture knowingly defies the chains that limit the technical feasibility, ergonomics, formal constraints, and the exterior of the vehicle. The reason for this is that it hopes to influence the viewer using a purely sensory-aesthetic appeal. The sculpture also gives viewers a sample of the emotionally-appealing but clear-cut sculptural form language that will be part of the brand’s future interior design.
It also manages to convey the functional and aesthetic ambitions the interior of the Mercedes-Benz is known for. Meaning, it can bridge the gap between aesthetics and the art of the interior design. The overall result is that it makes the viewer pause for a moment. It even manages to challenge and give a new interpretation to what some believe is already familiar for a car interior. As such, it can touch both senses and provide a rational reflection of why it does so.
Head of Design Professor Gorden Wagener said that automobile design at the company is about artistic creation. Inspiration is an important pre-condition in order to have an emotional, passionately but coherent and clam design of all the company’s cars. With the Aesthetics No. 2 sculpture, Prof. Wagener added, the company has managed to develop creative fantasy to go free and without any constraints.
The company has followed the diversity & perfection found in Nature by giving her friendliness and a newly-interpreted space, he further added. Gentle, soft, and infinitely beautiful -- this is her way of dealing with the resources and creating amazing aesthetics anew. According to Prof. Wagener, the company noticed this in every cell structure, blossom, and living being.
Mercedes-Benz however, he continued, did not just copy Nature but instead studied and learned from the complex and wide-ranging interplay of the elements, which represent the hallmark of art as well. Serving as additional inspiration for the sculpture was sculpted natural landscapes like those seen in canyons and deserts.
Architectural themes and the wide field of aeronautical construction also formed part of the inspiration. As a result, the seating environment gives an image of being in the gigantic wings of a grand ray fish. The instrument panel meanwhile gives the suggestion of the engine and wing design seen in modern jets. Looking at the curves of its frame cell structure, they give the visual appearance as if they are closing on themselves like that of the arches of fluid metal.
A good analogy would be that it is like that of the bloodstream of a living being. The center console meanwhile gives the effect of a skeletal structure, similar to a vertebral column. In general, it can be said that the Mercedes-Benz interior sculpture was not based on lifeless matter but rather on life itself. Like life, everything is fluid and intertwined with all the others. Clearly, "Art is the nature of Nature," to quote the poet Friedrich von Schlegel (1772-1829).