Gregory Votolato Reaktion Books, 2015 Library of Congress TL145.V827 2015
Whether you drool over their horsepower or decry their emissions, the car is an important and ubiquitous part of nearly all of our lives. And the history of their design and the innovations of their technologies can tell us a lot about how our values and attitudes have changed. In this book, Gregory Votolato shows us how and why the automobile has become—since its rise in the late nineteenth century—at once an object of unparalleled popular desire and a hugely problematic emblem of the modern world.
Votolato explores the ways that our love-hate relationship with the car has been intimately connected with car design. He tells the story of the rise of the private passenger car and all the psychological, social, and economic functions it has come to serve beyond mere transportation. Introducing readers to the automotive design process, he traces the lifecycle of the car from the drawing board to the scrapyard, offering insights from key figures in the industry, as well as a careful evaluation of the car’s enormous environmental impact. At the same time, he looks at the many cultures tied into the automobile, from drag racing and customizing to the luxury coachcraft of the classic era. Along the way, he takes us for a ride in some of the most famous cars ever to have had their tires inflated, from the Model T to the Tesla. The result is a top-down, thrilling burn through the history of one of our most beloved—and lamented—inventions.
From oar-powered quinqueremes, to steam-powered freighters, to luxury ocean liners such as the Titanic,to aircraft carriers like the Abraham Lincoln,ships have played an integral role in trade, transportation, and war throughout history. Today, ships remain the largest and most expensive moving objects on the planet; engineers and designers constantly push the limits of design, creating vessels that continue to rival newer technologies such as airplanes and cars. But unlike other more common modes of transportation, the great ships of the world travel in the deep oceans, out of sight and out of mind—until, that is, something goes wrong. In Ship, Gregory Votolato explores the fiction and the reality of modern ships, the technology that creates them, and the events that can lead to disasters such as the Exxon Valdez or Amoco Cadiz.
Here Votolato delves into the world of the ship, describing the unpredictable and often-hostile environment of weather at sea, the resurgent threats posed by pirates, and the responsibilities of captains and crews onboard. Ship’sbroad overview of technology and design also offers unique insights into this extraordinary result of human creativity. Votolato’s book will appeal to readers interested in the general design history of ships as well as their social, political, and technological impact on our modern world.
We are a world of travelers. Technologies have enabled us to connect with others around the world at incredible speed, and now both business and pleasure operate on a global scale. The process of getting from point A to point B is therefore of more interest than ever, and Gregory Votolato here charts the history of that journey in all its complexity and variety.
From limousines to canoes to the Apollo spacecraft, Votolato chronicles the ever-evolving design of vehicles, nautical crafts, and other objects of transportation. Transport Design explores the relationship between mass transportation and the travel experience, probing such issues as design styles, economics, entertainment, and, most importantly, customized comfort. Elements such as nineteenth-century railway sleeping couches or the heated car seats of today, Votolato demonstrates, were among the pioneering technologies that set the precedent for personal home and office furnishings. Ultimately, Transport Design contends that today’s pressures of global commerce and environmental threats demand a radical reappraisal of how and why we travel.
A compelling and readable study, Transport Design is a must-have for transport design scholars, transit buffs, and reluctant commuters alike.