Introduction It has been said that the automobile is one of the greatest inventions mankind has ever conjured up (Stone, 2017). Amongst all the car brands I have always been drawn in particular to Japanese cars, possibly due to their sheer uprise in popularity in 1990 (Koch, 2018). In particular I have always had a special place in my heart for Mazda, who reached superstardom levels thanks to their famous RX-7 and MX-5 sports cars (Bailey, 2020) according to former Mazda designer, Peter Birtwhistle (2020, p. 162) “Mazda was certainly riding on a wave of success, but in terms of scale was still one of the babies in Japan as a producer of cars”. Mazda was never afraid to take risks as seen by their endeavours with the Rotary engine as noted by Tsuneji Matsuda, former president for Mazda, believed that the company needed to develop a unique technology if it was to survive and therefore set the goal of commercialising the rotary engine ahead of other companies. road to the commercialisation proved to be rocky (Mazda, 2015). What interested me even more than the aforementioned were the lesser-known cars such as the MX-3, MX-6 and 323F BA. There were three different models of the 323F although this project will be focusing on the 323F BA, also called ‘Lantis’ in the Japanese market, which was produced from 1993-1998 (Mazda, 2015b). As part of the celebrations of Mazda’s 100th anniversary, a poll was released where the people could vote for their favourite Mazda, the Lantis, won by a large margin (Mazda, 2020) which led enthusiasts of this model to hope that Mazda might reintroduce the model. With the introduction of Mazda’s ‘Roadster Restore Programme’ which started to reproduce parts for the RX-7 and MX-5 sportscars (Whichcar, 2020), it also raised the question whether Mazda would do the same for the 323F BA or possibly even to reintroduce this model. The question at hand, how would the community around the Mazda 323F BA want the model to look if it were redesigned to be a contemporary model in Mazda’s range whilst retaining design aspects of the original? This will be explored through contemporary automotive design, Critical Design (Dunne, 2008), Design Fiction (Levine, 2016), Speculative Design (Auger, 2013) and Concept Development sketching (Tovey et al., 2002) whilst also engaging directly with the community through qualitative interviews. Several examples of contemporary automotive redesigns and practitioners will be introduced within the Contextual Review chapter, followed by the Methodology chapter where the aforementioned will be elaborated upon and applied to this project. The Project chapter follows which will lay out the entire project and showcase the design process making use of the information gathered through the methodologies. Following this, the Reflective Discussion and Conclusion chapters where the results of this project will be critically reflected upon to determine whether or not the initial research question was adequately answered.
Contextual Review Mazda’s current design language entitled ‘KODO’, introduced in 2010 (Inside Mazda, 2019) means ‘soul of motion’ (Mazda, 2015a) and this shift was a result of the departure of Laurens van den Acker. Current global design chief, Ikuo Maeda, was left in control and wanted to take Mazda’s design in a new direction (Greimel, 2010). According to Mildenhall (2019), ‘KODO’ is characterised today by a dignified minimalistic presence, a fundamental elegance based on Japanese aesthetics. The principle at Mazda is beauty through subtraction, eliminating any unnecessary elements. These aesthetics involve certain features such as ‘sori’ and ‘utsoroi’, ‘sori’ being curves which are found in traditional Japanese architecture while ‘utsuroi’ is the play between light and shadow on a surface. Maeda also believes in brand-led design which means that every model they create will tie in with each other and give Mazda an image that reflects their values, when one looks at their range of vehicles the design language can clearly be seen. Maeda also adds that cars aren’t just a means of transportation for everyone connected to Mazda but instead are an inspiring partner. (Inside Mazda, 2017). Mazda has gone through different shifts in their design. Every generation of vehicles has had certain traits and aesthetic cues that made them unique while remaining part of the line-up they are part of. The first design philosophy that Mazda shared with the public was that of ‘Nagare’, translating to ‘flow’ which was first revealed at the 2006 LA Motor Show which featured styling and concepts that differed highly from previous Mazda concepts (Neff, 2006). Holzhausen explains “Mazda has a strong line up of products but we felt that, for the future of the Mazda brand, we needed to create a design language that reflected an emotional attachment to the cars, in a similar way that Zoom-Zoom represented an emotional attachment to the cars when in motion” (carbodydesign, 2008). This was through the surface of the vehicle itself. which are individually textured in a way that suggests air or water is flowing over it. This importance placed upon the concept of ‘Flow’ came after research and sketching by the Mazda design team. The phrase ‘emotion in motion’ was the descriptor identified which led to the design team to create a design language that provokes emotion even when stationary by taking design cues and inspiration from the natural landscape. According to Acker, “we turned to nature for inspiration, focusing on images of motion created by forces like wind and water” and “such natural flow lines all lend an intuitive sense of motion” (carbodydesign, 2008). Another example of the automotive industry taking inspiration from nature would be Aston Martin’s Marek Reichman who revealed that the DB11 was designed with the Golden Ratio in mind, which is something evident in nature seen in shells for example. He also related automotive design to architecture as they both required function and flow (Lean, 2016). As designers take inspiration from nature, it could be useful for the new 323F BA concept which also follows the ‘KODO’ design language. Animal forms in automotive styling was also researched (see Appendix C). In TheSketchMonkey’s (2021) video “1994 Mazda RX-7 Redesign - MODERN TRACK MACHINE!” he tackles something similar to the research question introduced in Chapter 1. TheSketchMonkey takes Mazda’s 1994 RX-7 FD model and redesigns it through digital illustration and photo manipulation in Adobe Photoshop creating a vehicle that would look more contemporary albeit without fitting it into the ‘KODO’ design philosophy. TheSketchMonkey (2021) he identified certain aspects such as certain body curves and bulges, light reflectors and ride height but also identified certain design cues and elements which he felt as though needed to be retained such as the rear wing, ‘bubble’ cabin, rear light assembly and proportion of the vehicle. The 1984 Toyota MR2 underwent a similar redesign done by designer Chip Foose in a video uploaded to YouTube by Hagerty (2020). Through the use of reference images of the original concept for the MR2 as well as the final production model Foose altered the design. The shape of the vehicle was altered to become a ‘fastback’ shape, lengthening the windows, pulling back the front windshield and cleaning up the lines. He also identified key design features including the side intakes, pop-up headlights and front of the vehicle, these were not altered much to keep the overall look of the MR2. Foose also stated, “You always have to remember where you’re coming from, so bring some of those elements back into what you’re creating” (Hagerty, 2020). A similar approach will be utilised in this 323F BA concept. Mazda’s head of design, Ikuo Maeda believes in brand-led design, and rather than making every car look the best it can on its own, they each model in the range compliments the other and intrigues the customer, that it must provide a consistent image (Inside Mazda, 2017). Adding to this is Veryzer, “Another area that can benefit from further research is that of the relationship between product design and brand identity and choice” (Veryzer, 2000, p. 67). Consumer and Design research was furthered researched, see Appendix E. The RX-Vision concept, as seen in Appendix B, created by Mazda in an attempt to envision another one of their sports cars with the traditional layouts powered by a rotary engine. Maeda states, “The car had a 10-month gestation period. It is based on a unique front-engine, rear-wheel drive platform and the body has proportions that give a feel of the car’s performance (Mazda UK, 2015). The ‘Vision Coupé, see Appendix B, is one Mazda’s latest concepts which envisions the future of KODO design, toned-down when compared to the RX-Vision yet still provides the impression of speed in the simplistic but meaningful design. These two concepts in particular could serve as inspiration when designing the new 323F BA as they provide a contemporary view directly from Mazda while also looking towards the future. The original designer of the 323F BA, Ginger Ostle, was contacted through email, view Appendix A, to obtain some information about the design process and the designer’s thoughts about the model. Ginger Ostle was a designer with various companies but most notably at Porsche where he spent 16 years. He is known for his designs for the Porsche 928, 944 and 924. (Neer, 2017). Ostle started at Mazda in 1988 after being approached to create their new design studio in Frankfurt while he was still at Porsche. He stated that the design process behind the 323F BA started with an internal competition between the designers to decide on a theme which would then be created as a 1/5 scale model in clay which became the full size model. He stated that “there were of course thousands of detail changes to our original design but in essence we felt pleased with the compromised end result”. Ostle also said that “on reflection I think we all felt that the final vehicle was dimensionally a little too compact and thus a little too impractical compared with the competition. We were also a little disappointed with the interior quality”. When asked about design language he stated that “any mainstream company has to evolve with the market needs and the changing customer taste” and that he feels that the current KODO design language at Mazda is very well suited to the company itself and provides a distinctive look. Also that Mazda is a smaller company when compared to other car makes in Japan but their design has always been very unique and of high standard (Ostle, G. personal communication, April 1, 2021). With this information at hand, it provided me with a new insight and information which will be of assistance in creating this concept as it presents me with the opportunity to also rectify certain aspects the designer himself felt as though could have been executed better on the final model. “Design fiction is a way to create compelling visions of what life in the future could be like” (Levine, 2016). This can be applied to the research question introduced in Chapter 1. Bruce Sterling describes Design Fiction as a “deliberate use of diegetic prototypes to suspend disbelief about change” which focuses on potential objects (Bosch, 2012). Although design fiction requires a certain vision for the future it is important the ideas for these prototypes are not too farfetched as it would lose the “ability to compel” (Bosch, 2012). According to Roselló (2017), “Design fiction is a new methodology that allows us to prototype tangible objects, with a deliberate specific aesthetic and an implicit narrative property”. In fact, Levine (2016) states that “a diegetic prototype exists as a functional piece of technology within a fictional world”. ‘Critical Design’ coined by Anthony Dunne (2008) claims to challenge narrow assumptions and preconceptions stemming from the role products take in everyday life. This approach is meant to make one think while also raising awareness and assumptions, provoking action and debate (Dunne & Raby, 2009). This approach aims to take an argumentative, critical voice in terms of design. Dunne & Raby (2009) state: A role of Critical Design is to question the range of emotional and psychological experiences offered by products. Instead of assuming design is there to make things nice it should also aim to experiment with emotions such as a positive use of negativity. One cannot mention Critical Design and Design Fiction without mentioning Speculative Design similarly. Speculative Design is aimed at future scenarios. User scenarios are an important method found in many of these design strategies. These allow one to imagine things as they might be and also question the use and aim of the object. These futures should also be grounded in reality, they should be probable, plausible and preferable. Anything outside of such parameters ends up as fantasy which is not what Speculative Design aims to explore (Tran, 2019). On Speculative Design, Auger (2013) states that for a successful speculative design project one cannot stray too far into the future but at the same time shouldn’t stay too close to current reality. Otherwise there will be a lack of engagement with the idea. Since this project will start from being sketched through ideation and studies it is important to focus on Concept Development through sketching. Hodge (2008) states that, “as a tool or skill, sketching has its role in the design process. That role will vary depending on the end-product being created, the size and scope of the project, the individual designer's style, experience, and workflow, and the client's expectations”. Tovey et al. (2002) in fact state that design sketches are different from still life for example. As they are not drawings of something that already exist but instead the designer goes through a process of visualising an imagine design form. They also go on to suggest that during this process of sketching, the designer is attempting to put his ideas onto paper through motion and is a mentally relaxing exercise and allows for further ideas to flow. This helps the designer to further speculate possible forms and features. To add to this Tovey at al. (2002) suggest that freehand sketching is used at the front edge of designing. Some of the sketching precedes ideas at times. Therefore the designer engages in sketching to help generate ideas. Tovey et al. (2002) also state that when it comes to the automotive industry, design is organised in a different fashion, “with a greater division between ‘design’—sometimes called ‘styling’—and ‘engineering” (Tovey et al. 2002). Alongside these concept sketches, mood boards are often made use of to get a sense of where the designer wants to draw inspiration from for his original design. Tovey et al. (2002) also suggest that there is typically a greater emphasis on lines rather than colour at this stage as it is easier to create and communicate via lines. While colour is not an essential part of initial concept sketching it is useful for communicating ideas at a later stage and also when polishing final pieces. (Tovey et al., 2002). This is aided by Adrian Dewey’s ‘How to Illustrate and Design Concept Cars’ which provided information on drawing and sketching techniques for automotive design. Certain basics such as the distance between the front and rear wheels of the vehicle shouldn’t exceed three and a half times the length of a single wheel as to keep the vehicle proportioned (Dewey, 2017). Another technique was perspective and the different vanishing points such as one-point perspective and flat or full two-point perspective. Light and shade was another area that was explained, how light falls on a painted curved surface and how highlights and shadows change depending on the colour of the vehicle. He also stated that to make a concept sketch appear more appealing designers increase the wheel size to minimise the arch gap and tyre sidewall. The glass on the vehicle, what can be seen through it, it’s colour and reflections. Information on how to utilise Adobe Photoshop which is how I will be working mainly. He initially started with an outline, filling in with a low opacity airbrush, then darkening and lightening respective areas followed by the glass, wheels, highlights and any final details such as lights (Dewey, 2017).
Digital illustration uses the computer paired with a device such as a drawing tablet to produce artwork through the use of software such as Adobe Photoshop for example (Brower, 2021). Digital illustration also provides the opportunity to create and form a unique artistic style that otherwise would not be possible via traditional approaches and media, for instance the look of a vector drawing or certain affects only available digitally like photograph manipulation, undoing mistakes without a trace, swapping of colour, or techniques which require much more effort traditionally such as layering and transparency. Stefyn (2020) says that “Digital illustration is the creation of a narrative image that tells a story, conveys an emotion or mood, or sells a concept or product”. Methodology
The 323F owner's community is a worldwide network thanks to the widespread availability of the internet, allowing me to gather varied information from around the globe. As part of the methodology, qualitative interviews were adopted as a research and data collection tool since this will provide detailed information. “Semi-standardised (or semi-structured) interviews offer a more flexible approach to the interview process. While they may use an interview schedule for predetermined topics, they allow for unanticipated responses and issues to emerge through the use of open-ended questioning” as stated by Tod (Gerrish, K., & Lacey, A., 2006). This approach was chosen as it will allow the data gathered to vary depending on the interviewee’s personal, individual experience. The aim was to find out what the possible reasons are behind their choice of ownership of the 323F BA and also as to why they are attracted to Mazda in general. The interviewees as such were chosen from within the community itself with a varied demographic with one thing in common, that being the ownership and passion of the 323F BA and also Mazda in general. They would also make up a sample of the target audience that this new 323F BA would be aimed at, that being car enthusiasts. The participants were Paul Murphy, Isaac Burlo, Andy Madgwick, Hughie Wilmshurst. These four participants were chosen due to their active involvement within the community as well as having varied backgrounds that would provide with a vast array of data. Madgwick and Wilmshurst in particular due to their automotive industry background, Madgwick having done 3D modelling in the industry and Wilmshurst actively participating in motorsport with a 323F BA race car. Due to the current restrictions at the time of this project the interviews were held online via the use of teleconferencing tools Zoom and Microsoft Teams which were recorded through the built-in recording tool itself in the case of Zoom or else via Window’s own Voice Recorder in the case of Microsoft Teams. Zoom was not used for each interview due to the unavailability to one of the interviewees. They were initially asked about how their ownership started and what they have done to the car over the years and how the community has changed throughout all this. Other information such as their opinion on the design of the 323F BA was also be obtained, including what they think of the design overall, what design cues stand out to them or that they appreciate, what design cues or parts of the design they do not like and wish would be altered. Their opinion was also asked about Mazda’s design language in the 1990s at the time of the 323F BA as opposed to the contemporary ‘KODO’ design language. Following this they were presented with two of Mazda’s recent concept cars, the RX-Vision and the Vision Coupé, which can both be seen in Appendix A, to be able to compare and contrast them with the 323F BA. Final closing statements were related to whether or not they would purchase a brand new 323F BA if it were to be introduced again in a way similar to the information that was presented within the interview itself. The exact questions utilised within these interviews can be seen in Appendix D. These interviews provided a view from each interviewee who were eager and willing to share their view on the model and their personal experience, with each interviewee providing different input such as design cues they’d like to see carried over to the new concept for example, the rear reflector, four doors and body shape, and also what shortcomings the original model suffered from, their own personal background and taste when it comes to their own 323F BA and other cars they might own or have owned, while still respecting and appreciating other members within the community itself. To these people, Mazda is not just a car brand but it is also a lifestyle and something that brings joy to their life. Transcripts of the interviews carried out can be seen in Appendix G. According to Levine (2016), there are three important aspects within design fiction, which are; the narrative, the diegetic prototype and the context. In this case the narrative is that of the creation of this new 323F BA with the input of the community, the context is that of the original 323F BA and the requirement to keep its identity and design cues, while the prototype is what the outcome of this project aims to be. Although Critical Design is aimed more at solving problems within contemporary society and challenging certain societal norms and assumptions it can still be applied at least in part to this project of digital automotive design seeing as automotive design is not only product design but especially in the case of Mazda it also aims to evoke emotion in the viewer and owner, both through aesthetics as well as feel through driving and interaction. Ikuo Maeda stated in an interview with The Wheel Network that, “Mazda is a brand for people who truly love cars and my aim is to create designs that will continue to excite and entice these people”. (The Wheel Network, 2017). Speculative Design, as introduced in Chapter 2, means that while the research question aims to merge the old with the contemporary but it must also present something new rather than just meshing two ideologies together. This project must bring about something which can act as contribution to the community rather than just a continuation of a product. Concept Development sketching, as introduced in Chapter 2, will be essential to the creation of the new 323F BA concept. Although this will be explored via traditional media at one stage it will ultimately shift back to digital media to continue to develop and finalise the concept as will be elaborated on in Chapter 4.
Project Chapter The first step taken was to experiment with techniques that are used within automotive design, which tend to follow the fundamentals within fine art itself, those being proportion, form, perspective and lighting. Adrian Dewey’s (2017) ‘How to Illustrate and Design Concept Cars: New Edition’ was a great asset during my research as introduced in Chapter 2. As Ikuo Maeda states “What sets Mazda Design apart from other brands is an obsession with ultimate form of beauty” (Mazda, 2017), which was something I had to keep in mind. Madgwick (2021) suggested during his interview, “The ethos of what they did in the 1990s, specifically the F and the RX-7, because they were the best two looking cars in that line-up by a mile. You know, there must be a way of them capturing that and injecting that into what they're doing there”. Design studies were done on 1990s Mazda line-up, such as the MX-3, MX-5, MX-6, 323F BA, 626 and 929 were studied to identify key visual cues. Sketches of different views of these models were created to be able to compare the models themselves as seen in the figures below.
From these sketches one can see that the headlights on all these vehicles were slim and long, all sported fog lights directly underneath the headlights, in between such was an air dam. On the rear there is a styling difference between the 323F BA and 626 as opposed to the 929, MX-3, MX-5 and MX-6. The former utilises a long reflector bar across the entire width of the rear, whereas the latter go for two separate taillight clusters. One common element that these models have from the side view is that the majority of the cabin area is surrounded by glass, with the exception of the MX-5 since it is a convertible. Design study sketches of contemporary Mazda vehicles including the 3, 6 and MX-5 were done. These initial sketches were all created digitally. These studies allowed me to compare between the two styles. The difference in body lines, creases and curves as well as angularity. Contemporary Mazda vehicles have subtle and flowing curves in the body shape, they are contrasted by the angular frontal of the vehicle as they contain elongated, pointed headlights with a five-pointed grille. Compared to the 1990s line-up the styling was rounder with subtle curves and bulges, no sharp angularity. Two ideas were sketched out in an attempt to ideate what the new 323F BA could look like which led to these two sketches. The cabin area and side profile were quite similar to the 323F BA while the front was different. Both were attempts to utilise contemporary ‘KODO’ design with features including the grille in Figure 22 or a headlight shape similar to the current MX-5 (Figure 21) merged with the air dam and indicators/running lights of the original 323F BA as seen in Figure 23. I then went back to traditional media such as paper and pencil, charcoal and alcohol-based markers to get a better feel of where the base of the design would begin. The 323F BA was sketched out and a wedge form was identified as seen in Figure 36. The rear of the car terminates at a higher point than the front, this provides the car with a rake. This is reminiscent of the ‘KODO’ design language, during his interview Madgwick (2021) said “It just flows and it just looks like it's going a million miles an hour while sat still. That's what gets it for me”. He also acknowledged the rake that is present on the 323F BA, “The back end would have to have that slight lift. So, the line of the car from front to the back rises slightly” (Madgwick, 2021). Design cues from the original 323F BA had to make it to this new concept as to be able to keep its identity. Information gathered through the use the semi-structured qualitative interviews conducted with members of the 323F BA owners community led me to choose the following aspects: headlight shape, front indicators, front air dam, bulging quarter panels, coupé inspired roofline and the rear reflector. Burlo (2021) stated during his interview that “I’m not literally a huge fan of the huge red light at the back, but that's a huge part of the identity of the car. So I wouldn't really change it”. It was also requested to keep the body form which possesses certain contours. Madgwick (2021) stated “It would have to have that hump at the top. It would have to have pillarless doors. It would have to be a four-door only with a hatch and it would have to have slim front lights for me. And also, that gap between the wheel arch on the bonnet, that would have to be as narrow as possible because that gives the frontend purpose and stance”. One of the most common pieces of design that the enthusiasts did not like on the original were the wheel arches. Burlo (2021) stated “One thing that bothers me is that…the wheel arches are too big. I think that…they seem just too big”. Wilmhurst (2021) “The arch gap around the wheel was always huge. And if you sat in the car as completely standard 323F BA next to any other nineties car. You could fit your entire head in the way”. Madgwick (2021) also went on to state “one of the things the F does have, which is probably a bit of a pain, is the size of the wheel arches. When I bought my car, as I mentioned earlier, it had 13-inch wheels, which literally literally looked like casters or for a shopping trolley”. Keeping this in mind while taking inspiration from concept models such as the aforementioned RX-Vision and the Vision Coupé and design cues from the current line-up and following the ‘KODO’ design philosophy I then created the first sketches for the final concept. Featuring headlights with a reminiscent shape of the original but slanted with a taper and angled downwards, similar to contemporary headlights. The front indicators from the original were integrated right underneath the headlights in amber. The five-pointed grille located between the two headlights, slightly squashed and elongated to give the impression of a shorter and wider front-end while also leaving room for a front air dam underneath. At the bottom of the front of the car there is also a dark grey motif which is a nod to the front valance, also called a splitter, found on the V6 model of the 323F BA which can be partially seen in Figure 2. The bonnet then has two creases like the original as well as bulging quarter panels. The roof line goes from thin to thick as it approaches the rear end which is something that Burlo (2021) mentioned. Various sketches were created attempting to integrate the rear reflector into this concept. The first was a sharpened-up interpretation of the original, having ends which come to a point, with distinct amber areas for the indicators and white for the reverse lights, this design for the reflector was then turned upside down to create a different design. The mid-section of the reflector was thinned out to create one thin bar along the top of the reflector, similar to the RX-7 FD or 626 GE. Another element carried over from the original is the four-door coupé with pillarless doors. The design was finalised and a set of illustrations were created. These illustrations consist of six points of view of this new concept; the front and rear three-quarter view, direct front, direct rear, side profile and also one which places the original 323F BA next to this new concept. The exhibition will be about presenting this concept to the public and grab the attention of the viewer and get them interested in it. The physical exhibition will consist of six illustrations showcasing the new model in the aforementioned views. The online exhibition would consist of these final illustrations accompanied by a selection of the sketches created during the process of this project leading up to the final concept. Form and experimentation studies and various design studies of the 1990s line-up will be exhibited followed by the refinement of the final concept. This gives the viewer an insight into the process that was undertaken that led up to the creation of the new 323F BA.
Reflective Discussion Returning to the research question at hand, how would the community around the Mazda 323F BA want the model to look if it were redesigned to be a contemporary model in Mazda’s range whilst retaining design aspects of the original? The approaches utilised engaged directly with the community, the end result is a desired one which pleases the community and fits into ‘KODO’ desing. Creating a concept car based on information gathered from a specific car enthusiast community means it is difficult to accommodate everyone’s wishes although they were taken into account as much as possible. Burlo (2021) stated “For me to buy a new car, it would really have to impress me. And I would have to say, well, this reminds me of the old one. But it must be better than the old one”, which is also something Madgwick (2021) also touched upon, “All these people walked up at the dealership to look at a new 323F, took one, look at it and went, ‘I'm keeping that one’, because the BJ is let's face it, not the greatest car on the planet, nor is it the most attractive car”. From the four people interviewed, Madgwick was the most influential due to the amount of information he provided which is thanks to his vast experience within the 323F community as well as his background in the automotive and design industry. “I really liked the look of the car. I think it's such an unusual, unique looking car and I really liked the curves and the shapes that it has” (Wilmhurst, 2021). “Unique and different shape. There's no other car, I think on the road that looks like it's. Now it's a, it's very reminiscent of the Mazda in the 1990s” (Burlo, 2021). A few statements in regards to why these people were drawn to the 323F BA in the first place. By following the ‘KODO’ design language and merging the identified design cues with it, this created a new model that fits in with the current Mazda line-up yet still unique. The use of all the methods that were consulted also served to broaden my vision of what goes into a design which is aimed at a multitude of people. Speculative design, Design Fiction and Critical Design served not just as design approaches but also reminders that the new 323F BA concept should not stray too far from the original model itself. At the same time the qualitative interviews helped the Concept Development sketching done in parallel to the approaches utilised.
Conclusion The main objective of this project was to give something back to the 323F community in the form of a design study and conceptualisation of a new 323F BA. The results of this can be seen in figures presented in the previous Chapter but especially Figure 61. An attempt at furthering my understanding of design in the automotive industry. This provided a solid base that would make up a large part of the design of the final concept that was created. “There's less of them, you know? And when…you stack up against modern cars, people look at them and go, well, that's cool, but design still stacks up today in 2021” is what Madgwick (2021) stated during his interview when queried about his opinion on what made the 323F BA unique which meant that this new concept had to have strong links to the original to be able to fully answer the research question. “I don't want fussy in a car. I want the car to look beautiful at a standstill. I want to walk up to my car and I want to look at it and go, I'm proud of that” (Madgwick, 2021). Something that hopefully can be said about this new concept.