Analysis of Plastic Vehicle Trim Design

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Creativity Exercise Report: Design Demonstrate: Donald Greenberg Design Notebook Plastic parts on cars are a way for manufacturers to cut costs, but they make maintaining it a chore. The raw plastic parts not only fade, but for the most part make the car look cheap and esthetically unpleasing. According to John Heskett, design is combination of utility and significance. While these plastic bumpers serve a purpose of being useful in protecting the vehicle from damage, there significance is lacking. When comparing plastic trim pieces on a vehicle to their painted counterparts, not only do the painted parts look better, they are also easier to maintain and keep looking factory new. So not only does a painted piece serve utility by protecting the vehicles metal frame and body, it also has design significance in making the car look better than bare metal. Going back to flawed design of plastic trim pieces I believe it would be more useful and significant if those pieces were painted to match the rest of the vehicle. Here we two photos of basically the same car, a Volkswagen Tiguan. The top photograph shows a baseline model with the raw plastic trimmed bumper and raw plastic trimmed side skirts. This gives me mixed emotions, because I think it looks atrocious. But when I look at the plastic, I am not looking at its newness, or is utility; when I look at it, I am imagining how it will look in 6 months to a year. It will fade, possibly crack, and definitely stick out like a sore thumb when compared to the rest of the vehicles finish, which is much more durable. This photograph also show a Volkswagen Tiguan. It is not the base model, however it is not the highest model either. Notice how the side skirts are painted on the exterior to match the rest of the vehicle. This is standard from the factory. The inside and underneath is still plastic trim, but it is painted on

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