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Car Design Online
8th August 2007

New iMac with Possible Automotive Inspiration

A statement in aluminium and glass, is it possible that car styling has influenced this design icon?







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Apple have unveiled the latest incarnation of the iMac and once again are promoting the one-piece computer as more of a piece of sculpture than a bit of IT kit. Like much in the world of contemporary design, materials count for a lot. Apple have made much of the aluminium and glass used to make the iMac, materials which are perhaps more at home in an architectural context. However, it wasn't the architectural similarities that grabbed our attention, rather it was the way the glass-plated LCD resembled an automotive windscreen. With the sheen of the aluminium case topped off with the chrome apple logo, we knew it looked a little like something else... an Audi! Possibly.

Although this connection may be a little tenuous, there is an established link between product and automotive design. There have been many collaborations between automotive designers and watch companies, sportswear manufacturers and other industries. On this occasion it may be that the reverse is true: qualities that make a car desirable influence the design of a product.

If it really was the case that the design style of a brand like Audi influenced the design of the iMac, maybe, in a similar way to the evolution of the TT, we could expect to see further 3D form development of the iMac in future generations. Audi's design style has become more organic and sinewy of late, moving to less rigid, more fluid forms. Perhaps, when simplicity is exhausted as a design style, Apple may follow Audi down the road even further to a place where machines are elegently sculpted objects and possessing something is just as important as using it.




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