Car Space

From where I sit, on a bike going through the through the city, the interiors of cars look pretty comfortable and exclusionary. The occupants are nicely insulated against the cold and the damp and the noise. Their sphere of personal space extends though the steering wheel and into the vehicle they drive. I somtimes think that the value that people ascribe to themselves is reflected in their choice of road weapon. Those that think very highly of themselves indeed, tend to insulate themselves from the world the most.

|| Functions of car ownership : Transport, safety , status symbol, leisure, comfort, entertainment.


Cars have been built up in status similar to that of a person’s home. This due to a number of reasons. Firstly, being an expensive item, car ownership leads to possessive and protective tendencies in the driver. The psychology of ownership increases the perceived value of the car beyond the pure function for which the car provides,which is transportation. This is exacerbated by the marketing policies of car manufacturers that play off the various traits of people in an effort to sell more vehicles. For instance the high end marques may be aimed at the large earners and the marketing is geared for exclusivity and luxury. These vehicles are large engined and enclosed spaces emphasising the exclusion of exterior noise from the road or wind buzz or any other distractions that may infringe on the experience of driving a luxury saloon. Interior space is designed to be as comfortable and exclusive to the occupant as possible.


The space also that the vehicle takes up on the road reinforces in the driver the impression of a domineering on the world around them. SUV school run vehicles in affluent areas have the luxury and size and overbearing presence on the road makes it appear as a protective space for the occupants whilst at the same time advertising status.

Midrange and family cars emphasise safety as their primary focus. Therefore creating a safe space for the transportation of children is the imperative while at the same time having fuel economy and environmental considerations.

  || Secondly, possession… territorial… infringement… entitlement….


A car is a space within which a person may spend a greater or lesser part of their day. Professional drivers such as taxi, delivery, transport or public service spend a large proportion of their day behind the wheel of a vehicle. Acclimatised to the space that they are working within leads to a  familiarity and a sense of security. Being able to navigate through a city in the quickest manner can become the only novelty in an otherwise repetitive melee of individuals piloting cars around a city. this combination of a self perception of professionalism and a monotonous task become semi autonomous. Regardless drivers enter a vaguely autonomous state such that if you ask them to recall the details of the previous mile or five minutes they draw a blank. This driver autonomy will be replaced with actual AI autonomy in the near future which will lead to the change on relationship of the occupant to the space again.


||Red light was that green… autopilot….|| hazard perception.

Common theme in car ads is a fantastical world outside and a safe reliable space on the Inside. Emphasised are the hazards and unpredictability on the outside. There is always a dissociation between the interior and exterior space.

Common words in advertising associated with Cars – Spacious, safe luxury.

“We are in one of the most exciting phases in the history of automotive interior design.In ten years, a car like the Ford Galaxy will barely be driven manually. Our vehicles are like a second home – a mobile home – and families don’t want to miss anything they can do at home. For both short and long trips, travelling and working in your car will be more relaxed than ever before. We are in one of the most exciting and challenging phases of development in the history of automotive interior design.” Ernst Reim

Ford’s Ernst Reim: “We’ve arrived at the future of automotive interior design”.
Banks, Tom,  Design Week (Online Edition); 7/3/2015, p3-3, 1p


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