#GetCreativeWithPorsche: Automotive design
In part 2 of the #GetCreativeWithPorsche series, Michael Mauer, Head of Design at Porsche, talks through how to sketch the Porsche 911 from scratch.
In meetings, he is always drawing and doodling – working things out on paper. “Even at breakfast I’m sketching, and it’s almost always cars: I can’t help myself.” During lockdown, his thumbnail sketches are piling up faster than ever and as he talks through how to draw the greatest Porsche icon – the 911 – for a new series aimed at honing enthusiasts’ skills from home, his pencil glides effortlessly across the paper in front of him, as if with a mind of its own.
“The Taycan’s proportions are unique”
Michael Mauer, Head of Style Porsche, talks in an interview about exterior sketches of the Taycan, explains the different levels of Porsche’s brand and product identity and describes the design philosophy for Porsche’s all-electric vehicles.
Almost unbelievably, the design of Porsche’s first fully electric car developed after Mauer misinterpreted a technical sketch of a 918 for a new idea and a seed was planted.
Michael Mauer shares some of the tricks
“One of the key things to think about when sketching cars, is getting across the three dimensional aspect,” he says. This is a bit like sketching a car. Sketch 1 Some designers start with both wheels, some start with the front wheel and then start to sketch the front of the car and put the second wheel in later. You can approach it however you choose but I always start with both wheels because one of the challenges of drawing a car is defining the wheelbase and the correct proportions. With this method, I sometimes continue to sketch and realise the rear wheel is in the wrong position so I erase it and start again.
Sketch 2 Once your wheels are in place, the next step is to put the car on the ground: draw the line between the wheels. Designers and engineers talk about the “Y zero section”, which basically means the silhouette. Sometimes you’ll find the silhouette and the wheelbase don’t match, and you have to think about moving the rear wheel but that’s no problem: that’s why we have erasers.
Sketch 3 Designers often refer to the window as the DLO: the daylight opening. The DLO on the 911 is iconic and very different to a Cayenne or a Panamera, since they are four-seaters. This is one of the first details I add, followed by the front headlamp, and then more detail at the rear end.
Sketch 4 There’s a very fine line between the wheels now, just below the belt line. This very fine line gives the side – the surface between the wheels – a more three dimensional feel. It’s not an accident that this very fine line, when it comes closer to the rear wheel, is dropping. It doesn’t mean that on the final product the line drops, it’s just a way of visualising and giving the person that’s looking at the side view an impression of how the car might look in the flesh. If you look at the 911 from above, the rear track of the car is a little wider and these fainter lines help to indicate this.
Apr 15, 2020 at 18:09