Tadge Juechter – just what is a Corvette?

This evening I was at an Open Garage talk hosted by the Revs Program at Stanford [Link].

Tadge Juechter, chief engineer on the Corvette, shared with an audience of over 200 the features of the new seventh generation of the paradigm of the American sports car.

At the heart of the design effort was the matter of the personality of the Corvette – rooted in performance and a distinctive driving experience, plus the looks, the styling.

How do you refresh, renew the Corvette without losing its soul?

How do you capture, describe the driving experience, established and evolved through 60 years? So that you can hold onto this, maintain Corvette authenticity, while offering something new for 2014?

Much came down to numbers – acceleration, breaking, the downforce of airflow, lateral g-force, the options offered in “driver mode selection”. Of course we need to know what these numbers actually mean in terms of experience – to an outsider this evening will have sounded like gobbledegook.

The challenge, quite coincidentally, was one I was discussing this afternoon in our seminar on design and antiquarians [Link] – just how do you describe things, that we might know them, understand them, construct knowledge of them, act on them? The challenge is one where epistemology and ontology meet. The challenge is one of

pragmatography – representing things and things done

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a cut-away showing the essence of the new Corvette

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