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Retrofuturism: The Car Designs of J Mays Hardcover – December 13, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Universe (December 13, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789308223
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789308221
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 11.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,371,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

J Mays is vice president of design at Ford Motor Company. He previously worked for Audi, Volkswagen, and BMW.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Carlooks on October 31, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Retrofuturism presents two essays and an interview with the designer of the "New Beetle," the 2005 Mustang and other striking car designs with strong roots in earlier versions of those models. The book was published as the museum "catalog" for a show of "retrofuturism" in the car designs and drawings of Mays and designers in his studios at the Los Angeles Museum of Modern Art. "Retrofuturism" is the derivation of new designs such as the New Beetle, from concepts and visual principles established in an earlier design, e.g., the original VW Beetle. The designers' rough sketches and drawings illustrating evolution of their designs are interesting. But the photos try too hard to be art in themselves and present minimal visual information about the design of the cars pictured. Buy this book for the "J. Mays, Designer" essay by C. Edson Armi and the "Q&J" interview with Mays himself, not for its pictures.

"J. Mays, Designer" will give its reader some mental traction on the slippery links between fundamental visual components of car design - e.g.,geometric shapes, proportion, outline - and the first-hand working insights of J. Mays as he uses them in "retro" designs such as the New Beetle. This essay can fine-tune the reader's brain in ways that will take you up a level when you see a car you like. Another essay by the show museum curator, Brooks Hodges, is mostly about the business sociology of design; it will not lead your mind to help your eye see more in a car design. J. Mays' comments on his own designs in the "Q & J" interview section that concludes the book criss-cross the "cultural," business and visual considerations that make car design such a challenging art.
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Format: Hardcover
Taken as a whole this book reads an awful lot like a curriculum vitae of designer extraordinaire J Mays.
The term "retrofuturism" is a word apparently coined by Lloyd Dunn, a publisher/editor of magazines pertaining to futuristic concepts influenced by the past; talented designer J Mays uses this term to describe his approach to design primarily of automobiles. His designs bring a taste of the most striking and memorable bits of past styles forward to influence advanced concept vehicles... vehicles which have on occasion proceeded to production status. Quite intriguing are the sketches sampled from the books of many student designers, as well as quite a number of color photographs of "dream" and conceptual cars of the future... the future as viewed by the eyes of 2003, anyway.
This book explains the "how" and "why" of Mays' designs, where they originated, and where he intends to take them. As a book for the public, this is probably flying over the heads of most readers... however, serious students of design might well use this treatise as a blueprint for a career.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Michael Webb on March 13, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Tracey Shiffman has designed this catalogue to look as though it's going from 0-60 in a few seconds, and has given it a sexy energy that perfectly matches its subject. In some ways it works better than the exhibition that's on view at the Geffen Contemporary... There, the concept cars are at rest and can't be touched; here they emerge suggestively from shadows, stretch, and zoom off in a blur of light. A perceptive essay by curator Brooke Hodge and candid remarks from Mays make this an irresistible treat for lovers of automotive architecture. (Michael Webb is the book reviewer for LA Architect magazine.)
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Johnny V on August 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this book have not very much pictures and isn`t very informative, apart of that it was very bad scratched, and I can`t tell if was in the shipping or from the buyer
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