Each designer of DCI (Design Club International) teamed up with two young Shonan modelers to create a 1/4 scale model for an educational project sponsored by the Japanese government to educate DCI’s new modelers. As Alexandre Cornaert, a car designer with DCI explains, “For the modelers to practice and refine their skills, they needed a design to work on. My boss told us we could design the car we wanted, without any constraints, with no restrictions at all. It was pure freedom.”

Cornaert’s ideation sketches for the project he named Decadence involved slender lines, voluptuous volumes, long and imposing proportions and magisterial presence. As he says, “The design is slightly provocative, but with a real need to move forward and hope for a better future. Extravagance, abundance, nonchalance, opulence, impertinence, elegance, irrelevance, impudence, insouciance, arrogance, insolence . . . all these words define our world today, and thus the creative context of this design concept. There is a need for quality and honesty today like they had during the Renaissance period. Their sculptures were an ideal of perfection and power. They harmoniously coexisted . . . That’s why they became icons of absolute beauty.”


A suggestively long hood combined with a backward cabin position that provides speed and character defines the car’s proportions. The central front lamp and integrated front and rear spoilers give a classical sport touch to the design. The high ground clearance, a synonym of luxury, is combined with a low roof line to keep the car light and dynamic, and the centre point of both front and rear side character curves located behind the centre of the wheels give the impression of perpetual motion.

What’s so interesting about this design is its proportions. As Cornaert clarifies, “The proportions are the key point to my design. I always try to play with new proportions, but when I’m working for a client I usually have to base my design on an existing chassis and it’s incredibly limiting. So for me, freedom means new proportions. The Decadence project is a stylistic exercise, trying to push the limits of visual balance.”


Asked what he sees as the future of car design, the young French designer replies, “Right now it’s a very blurry time for the auto industry. Everybody is wondering which way to go. On the one hand everybody agrees that we need efficiency, but on the other hand, the luxury class cars (large, with very big engines) are selling better than ever. I think that whatever the car class is, the design of tomorrow will have to be visually efficient and optimise the space with larger cabins. The real challenge though is to make those people who are angry at cars for destroying the earth to change their opinion so they become friends again.” Unfortunately this doesn’t sound like a friendship that can be resurrected overnight.

This is a new post by David Report contributor Kristina Dryza.


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