WIT Press

The Evolution Of The Car: An Investigation Into Product History. Similarities, Contrasts And Questions.


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WIT Press


C. Dowlen


The evolution of the car: An investigation into product history. Similarities, contrasts and questions. C. Dowlen South Bank University, UK Abstract This paper investigates a selection of the points of similarity and contrast between biological evolutionary systems and the development of the car over the last hundred years or so. The suggestion is that publishing of car information, usually but not always in the form of demonstrating that a particular car exists, is what constitutes the equivalent of a gene pool for car designers. Areas of car layout and form are investigated using a set of examples that are analogous to fossils and hence are not intended to be representative. These data support the concept that car designers use car culture to provide significant design thinking, and track the way in which car layout and form have evolved. The suggestion that car evolution commenced with a series of unstable states followed by periods of significant relative stability has been supported, particularly by the layout data and the existence of a particular ‘Vintage’ car paradigm. 1 Introduction Quite clearly cars are not living things. They are created by human effort and are developed through a programme of human endeavour. In casual conversation we talk about products evolving. We mean that change is going on and the social, historical and cultural environment affects the way that this takes place. Since Darwin evolutionary thinking has become part of the fabric of our thinking so that we find no difficulty in understanding statements such as: