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  • Morgan 3 Wheeler

Humphries, Matthew, 2010, Art or design object, Morgan 3 Wheeler

Abstract or Description:

Humphries’s research-led design approach has been to analyse the key concepts underpinning the perception of Morgan, maintaining existing markets while expanding the company’s base. Here the design question was how to evoke company achievements from the early 20th century, referencing British eccentricity and humour while avoiding pastiche. The resulting decision was to revisit the three-wheeled design popular from the late 1920s to the Second World War. Design inspirations also included the lightweight, stripped-down aesthetic of early aircraft. Humphries aimed for simplicity, honesty to materials, and user engagement.
Reviews in the Telegraph and in Autocar awarded it five stars, with a highly complimentary review by BBC Top Gear (the world's most widely watched factual television programme, estimated to have around 350 million views per week in 170 countries). Reviewer responses aligned with the intentions of the design, including ‘the visceral link to the past is very tangible’ (Wired, 2011); ‘a superb reminder of what the thrill of driving is all about’ (Auto Express, 2011); ‘utterly beguiling’ (Autocar, 2011); ‘this is not just cynical plundering of a rose-tinted past’ (Financial Times, 2011); ‘its beautiful shape, crafted by designer Matt Humphries’ (Automobile, 2011); ‘Morgan has for some time earned its keep in finding the good in older ideas’ (New York Times, 2011); ‘Only Morgan could have done it and, thanks to Humphries and Reeves, they have.…Only the hardest of hearts will fail to love it’ (Telegraph, 2011). A BBC feature on benefits to the West Midlands supply chain from car exports highlighted Morgan Cars (2011).
Feature articles overseas include those in Aftonbladet (Sweden, 2012), La Repubblica (Italy, 2012 and 2013), Die Zeit (Germany, 2012) and New York Times (USA, 2011).

Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies > W240 Industrial/Product Design
School or Centre: School of Design
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2013 16:22
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2014 15:29
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/1480

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