*notcot in design , 09:47

Toyota’s Calty Design: Clay Modelling- 09.17.08

toyotaclay.jpgYesterday Toyota (for the first time) opened up it’s Calty Design Research doors to a tiny group of journalists (Core77, KCRW/NPR, Architect Magazine, Dwell, Inhabitat, DesignMom, Zaproot, and i was honored to be included in the group)… and as we all know, security and secrecy in the car industry is nearly impenetrable, with design secrets that manage to be kept under wraps for years before the public even gets wind of the concepts, it was an honor (and SO much fun) to get an inside look at Toyota’s studios and their work flow… AND to be able to share it with you!

So first off, my favorite part ~ really it brought out the kindergartner in all of us, get handed a tool, and a HUGE (yes, life size car sized) piece of clay, and are told to go to it. And then sat down at a bench with mini’s to carve away at your own car? Ok so perhaps that only slightly over simplifying it, but i’m sure you can imagine the delight of poking at clay… while assisted by some of the most talented car designer and modelers… who with a quick flip of their wrist and a few slashes with a pairing knife, off fly a few pieces of clay and you’re staring at the dream sportscar you never knew you wanted. Then you see what my unplanned mohawked/finned masterpiece turns out like after more effort and less finesse. Let’s just say we fully understand and were quickly humbled by how skilled these modelers and designer are…

So take a look inside the Toyota Calty Design Research modeling space on the next page, and our experience hands on with the clay!








Faced with this, what would you make? You have half an hour…



They even put our masterpieces into plastic boxes with little plaques…

Their toy car…

My toy car… sculpture was never really my specialty… =)


And for a quick view of a “real” work in progress, here are some nice press shots they provided us with!


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9 Notes

I appreciate your experience. I am a sculptour, I am eager to know detail about modelling .

----- Yogesh gomase 13.05.10 06:06

I did not think that they would be modeling in clay. Cool!

----- john 20.09.08 17:05

Hahaha ~ oh, ian can have the fin

As for feedback at the time ~ i think it was accepted that i had “imagination”, and most of us tried to wimp out on wheels claiming the hovercraft/car-boat angle… and i got called out for cheating by some modellers when i used a rounded tool to make wheels at the last few minutes… all in all a good time, and definitely the BEST way to realize up close how incredibly skilled those modelers are - it’s just fascinating to watch them transform a chunk of clay so quickly!

----- jean/NOTCOT 18.09.08 10:53

Yea, her finned car was pretty awesome…

Reminded me of the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea-mobile…

You better patent that design before Ian steals it… :)

----- Chad 18.09.08 10:38

That’s pretty boss! It’s easy to forget how much design goes into a car. I appreciate you sharing this experience! Also, did they give you any feedback on your finned car?

----- Myke D. 18.09.08 04:23

AMAZING!!!!!!! congrats!! Wish I could be there too… I´m a designer working with shoes… But design is design, isnt?
best regards!

----- Gutto 18.09.08 03:23

whee! what fun. =)

----- rugenius 18.09.08 01:36

Gianni ~ yup ~ those last few pics of it on the wood floor are my silly clay model in the box on my hallway floor

----- jean/NOTCOT 17.09.08 13:07

What an amazing experience! Do you get your model back?

----- gianni d 17.09.08 12:40

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