Design Essay: how adversity shapes cars

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The changing face of car design through difficult times is in fact a prime example of humanity’s remarkable adaptability and resilience – not to mention our collective mood.

While an increasingly adversarial political climate, murmurs of recession and ever-mounting fears for our natural environment didn’t paint the rosiest of outlooks as we approached the third decade of the 21st century, the sudden onslaught of an invisible, insidious foe has turned wearying slog into waking nightmare for much of the globe.

In such testing and traumatic times, it’s perhaps tempting to dismiss discussion of the finer points of automotive design as little more than an exercise in self-indulgent futility or escapism. However, notwithstanding the possibility that a healthy dollop of the latter may be all that remains between many of us and insanity’s slippery slope, it’s interesting (and perhaps heartening) to note that the changing face of car design through difficult times is in fact a prime example of humanity’s remarkable adaptability and resilience – not to mention our collective mood.

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