Client: BMW AG and DesignworksUSA, 2002
Winner IDEA Gold Award 2003
The Pinakothek der Moderne is Munich’s extraordinary 20th and 21st century art museum. Its design wing of the applied arts is the world’s largest. With only 50 days remaining before the museum opened, BMW proposed an ambitious installation featuring a giant sculptural wall made from 30 tons of Carrera marble, a video installation and a night projection piece. We were invited to develop the videos that would feature the drawing and sculpture that is at the heart of car design. Working with DesignworksUSA, we expanded the vision to include a visual representation of the entire car design process – a journey involving hundreds of people and numerous departments.
The six-monitor installation was developed using the multiple screens to formalistically underscore the multi-tasking aspect of car design. As the narrative unfolds, the monitors play off each in a visual symphony. The piece begins with a graceful line sketched across all the monitors by the hand of Chris Bangle, the head of BMW. From there, we attach miniature cameras to the pens of designers as they draw – each monitor featuring a different designer.
From the sculptors who model the cars to the robotic dance of the assembly line, all the major steps are revealed in an abstract visual “performance.” With a mandate that there would be no advertising, the piece ends with only a glimpse of a car racing along a hilltop road, the shape of the mountains mirroring that first gesture line. The piece is set to Phillip Glass’ “Concerto for Violin and Orchestra.”