by The Design Solution
The Design Solution was one of a number of design consultancies asked to come up with original designs inspired by the Ford Ka. The result was the Ford Ba.
Unfortunately, The Design Solution associate Steve Hall says there are no plans at present to turn it into a reality. ‘I guess the design responds to our experience of what’s happening at the moment, in that everyone is targeting a specific demographic sector,’ he says. ‘We wanted to design a space which would change during the day and has the flexibility to attract any number of different user groups.
‘For example, the seating area by the front faÃ§ade would be a little breakfast platform early in the morning, then become a little dining room for lunches and maybe a reception area in the evening where people are greeted, and ultimately it would become a relaxation area when the club was going full pelt downstairs.
‘The bar would be inserted into an old shell that had a very tall ground floor. I’d envisaged something that was very orthogonal with dressed stone work – something very crisp and linear. What we would insert within that would be a very fluid space, with very organic shapes and something that could have a different character from every point of view.
‘We’d use the same palate as you get in car design, so quite a lot of the walkways would be finished in aluminum, which is recyclable, and the leather furniture. Car design is light years ahead of building design. Everything has to be completely designed around the user, and how many buildings can you say that about? None. Buildings pay lip service to the user but essentially they stand there as monuments to themselves and the designers.
‘What I wanted to do was take a very small space and make it feel large, again because you get a much greater percentage of the volume as internal, useable space in cars these days. I think we’ve gone a bit over the top and it could do with being shrunk down a bit. But it was good to have the chance to try it out on an imaginary client and one which didn’t have a board of directors to justify it to, to take it as far as we could and see what happened.’