“ And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” - Paulo Coelho, Novelist
My design career path is just getting started and I still have a lot to learn. I have spent most of my career working as a technician in mechanical and environmental disciplines. I started my design journey here in the BAS-D program with our cohort in the Fall of 2018. The program has helped me to learn how to better organize and document my creative thinking process. Organizing my creativity has often felt like herding cats and has been quite a challenge for me. My newly developed design strengths are in 3D modeling. My weaknesses are in drawing and graphic design. My goals are to continue exploring fabrication, industrial, and mechanical design.
The greatest challenge of this capstone project has been finding a source of passion and inspiration. Passion is what allows me to invest myself entirely in my creative work and has been challenging to tap into this past year. I’ve been hauling “long-covid” since March ‘20 and feeling out of touch with who I am for much of that time. For my capstone, I have tried to find that spark of inspiration in something meaningful. I grew up modifying cars and doing motorsports, so I dug a little deeper into the roots of that culture.
I researched the Japanese tuning culture known as “Kaido Racing” and found inspiration to modify a Nissan Leopard 3D model. The Kaido Racer spirit is one of radical ideas and attitudes and it resonates with my enthusiasm for automotive tuning. Another important piece of this car culture is paying homage to specific styles and to your predecessors. I intend to pay homage to the Kaido Racer style with this model. I also intend to pay homage to Pan-African culture in the graphics used on the car. I grew up in hip-hop and found guidance in the lyrics and healing in the beats. Also, a few of the most impactful teachers and friends that I have had were from Africa or had lived there. I will never forget how strong and caring they all were.
The concept comprehensive result was a car that took on the persona and attitude of two different cultures. Originally, I set out to modify a car that would look cool. The style I thought I wanted to create could have easily been taken too far. As I worked on modeling the car, I realized that I wanted to be more conservative. What I created was milder than I expected in shape, but wilder in color and graphics. The logo for this Nissan contains a pouncing black cat and applies perfectly to the Pan-African theme. This pouncing cat is a homage to both the car culture and to Pan-Africanism. Thank you to the Kaido Racers of Japan for inspiring me. Thank you to the African people that have fought against all odds to overcome adversity and set an example of the highest good. The concept car could be further developed into a product or system by physically fabricating the car, seeking partnerships, and wrapping the graphics in vinyl.