Just coming back from a trip to London with its shiny new busses I was reminded of an article I read in a local newspaper (sorry no link available) recently about the design of the new New York cab or the Taxi of Tomorrow as it is called (see here).
The article (as well as this report in Metropolis Mag on the unveiling of the new taxi) stressed that the needs and wishes of taxi drivers and passengers have been put above the aesthetic appearance. And thus creating a car that misses the iconic presence of it’s predecessors of the Ford Crown Victoria or the Checker cab.
Now compare this to the redesign of the London Transport Bus, replacing the aging and no longer manufactured Roadmaster double-decker bus. The design was driven by renowned Heatherwick design studio. And while it was faced with similar design criteria, like fuel efficiency, ease of access, etc. as their New York counterparts, they managed to not only come up with a functionally appealing concept, they also created a beautiful design.
Here lies the great art of design. Combining the needs and wishes of users with an aesthetically appealing form.