- Concept design
Concept design is a product of work (or task) of a concept designer.
A concept designer (also known as "visual futurist" or "concept artist") is a designer who designs products that are not intended for immediate realization. In fact, most of them never come to a realization. If they are realized, it often happens many (even decades or hundreds of) years after the author's death and they often differ from the original concept design, especially when it comes to details. Some good examples of concept design (and of concept architecture as well - architecture is just another design field) are part of the [http://www.thevenusproject.com Venus project] , founded and led by
Another good example is the Star Trek project. Impressive work of various concept designers (amongst others, of course) over decades has been resulting not only in extremely popular films and the palette of television serials but in a complete "alternative future world". Some, if not most of the concepts, developed for the project, including spaceship drives etc. will probably see the light of day in the future, since the authors and designers, besides using their pure imagination, borrowed ideas from serious science (mostly physics) - and were very careful to avoid situations that would be against the known laws of physics (as the true science fiction should be). Besides that. the task of a concept designer might also include designing of completely fictional characters or objects - especially for a
fantasyfilm or a computer gameproject.
Other great, though significantly older examples of concept design include numerous projects by the legendary
Leonardo Da Vinci(the Aerial Screw flying machine, the Paddle Boat, Scythed Chariots...)
To be a successful concept designer one must be broadly versed in science and technology on one side plus one needs an impressive artistic talent in order to produce quality and aesthetically pleasing sketches, quality photo-realistic illustrations and even animations, on the other. Many of today's concept designers use a
3D computer graphics softwareas a powerful creative tool in addition to their natural talent to draw and paint, in order to achieve the extreme photorealism.The ideal educational background to become a concept designer would be a degree in architecture or industrial design. Other educational programs tend to be either too artistic/humanistic or too technical for the purpose. A more than average talent not only for realistic drawing and painting but also to invent new, original spacial forms, can be crucial and the right ability to constrain the own imagination inside the limits of the possible, without becoming conservative, is a must.
Concept designers work mainly for the entertainment industry (films, comics, games...), mostly on the subjects of
science fictionand fantasy. They design everything, from hand held weapons to costumes to furniture to spaceships to architecture (even whole cities) to impressive background environments. They often cooperate with scientists and engineers, specializing in diverse fields. When participating in a serious science fiction project, it is often crucial not only to take care of the visual aspect of a product but also on its inner workings and principles. For example, a scene, taking place on a planet with four moons and without atmosphere, thousands of light-years away, is different from our everyday experiences, and the job of a concept designer is to join his/her own imagination and the scientific + technical knowledge and try to predict, what it would be like. You can not just put the moons randomly all over the sky, you have to know a little bit of astronomy to place them correctly. You can not travel faster than light, so you have to find a possible way to get around that technical problem (for example by creating a sub-space bubble...). How would you steer a futuristic car, running at over 500 km/h and levitating on an air mattress, a few centimetres over a steel road surface? You obviously can not do it by a conventional steering mechanism, so you have to think of something that would be convincing. It would be still a sort of a close guess, but it must be at least physically possible. Science fiction should not contain elements that are contrary to known scientific laws, so a person is needed with lot of imagination but also with broad technical and scientific, basic (i.e. not necessarily expert) knowledge. That's where the profession of concept designer fits in perfectly.
Besides the entertainment industry there are concept designers working for various, serious scientific and research institutions, (like
NASAetc.), in other industries (automotive, aircraft, military) and in architectural and design studios.
Concept designer, specialized in architecture and urban development is also known as a concept architect (again, it is very important not to confuse it with conceptual architect(ure), because the two expressions are not only different but also contradictory!)
Concept design is mostly resulting in
visual arts(images, animations, special FX, virtual CG...). The 19th century writer Jules Verneand his various concepts (submarine, rocket etc.) might be considered a good exception that proves the rule. They firstly emerged in their literary form, but had been so seriously detailed, imagined and described by the author, that some basic principles were used when building first real submarine and sending the first man to the Moon.
It is a common misconception, by common people as well as "ordinary" designers and architect, to treat concept design and concept architecture products as less valuable or serious, because they are sort of "fantasy" and are not "realized" as final products. A good architecture is a good architecture, regardless of whether it is standing in the centre of London and is made out of steel and concrete or exists only in the form of a detailed project and a 3D computer model. It is obvious that the process of "realization" can not make it any better in architectural sense (it only gets worse, once the masons take it into their hands). The same is with any other design field.
Important thing to remember is also, that a serious concept project (as a result of work of a concept designer) is sufficient to protect the concept (idea) and generate the
authors' rights(at least it should be...).
Some good examples of concept design (in these cases really of concept architecture), that were realized in "their" time:
" [http://www.icons.org.uk/theicons/collection/eden-project The Eden Project] " (the [http://www.creative-science.org.uk/galgeo.html structure] ).A large-scale environmental complex near St Austell, Cornwall, UK. The project was conceived by Tim Smit and designed by architect
Nicholas Grimshaw. Although relatively new, it has quickly become one of the most popular visitor attractions in the United Kingdom. The complex includes two giant, transparent domes, each emulating a natural biome, that house plant species from around the world. The first emulates a tropical environment, the other a warm temperate, Mediterranean-type environment. The project took two and a half years to construct and opened to the public in March 2001. The project is ongoing, and part of its purpose is to see how the different biomes develop over time.
" [http://www.answers.com/topic/federation-square Federation Square] " - a public square in the city of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It is located at the south-east corner of the intersection of Flinders and Swanston Streets and opposite Flinders Street Station and St Paul's Cathedral. It helps to connect the historical central district of the city, the mile-by-half-a-mile Hoddle Grid, with the Southbank district, which has been redeveloped as a key part of central Melbourne since the late 20th century. It was built on the former site of the Gas and Fuel Buildings and the Princess Bridge railway station. Since its opening on October 26, 2002, it has been been both loved and despised by Melburnians, causing controversy not only for its unusual architecture, but also for the budget blow-out and delays in construction. Zhiyu Yan, who graduated at Edinburgh College of Art, considered this project to design a club . At the existing site is a bridge called Jeffrey Street [http://www.answers.com/topic/olympiapark-munich Olympiapark Munich] The Olympiapark in Munich, Germany, EU, is an Olympic Park which was constructed for the 1972 Summer Olympics. The Park consists of:Olympic Stadium Olympic Hall Olympic Swim Hall Olympic Event Hall Olympic Tower Olympic Village The Park is served by the U3 line of the Munich U-Bahn
* [http://www.conceptdesigninc.com/ Concept Design Productions]
* [http://www.conceptart.org Concept Art web community]
* [http://www.Homeros.Viewbook.com Homeros Gilani - Concept Artist: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror]
* [http://www.imaginefx.com/ ImagineFX - A printed magazine and web community of 2D and 3D concept illustrators]
* [http://www.massiveblack.com Concept Art & Illustration Outsourcing Company]
* [http://www.cgsociety.org CGSociety.org - Society of CG artists - the world's largest Web meeting place of concept artists and other CG illustrators]
* [http://www.conceptart.org/school/ Concept Art Atelier]
* [http://www.conceptart.org/workshop/ Concept Art Workshops]
* [http://www.autodestruct.com Autodestruct.com]
* [http://idealist.blinkr.net IdeaList > dreamed objects - design concepts sharing community]
* [http://www.highend3d.com Highend 3D - a web community of CG arists, mostly into 3D concept art/design]
* [http://www.x3dx.com X3DX - a young web community of CG arists, in English, with some subsections in the Slovene, Serbian/Croat & Macedonian]
** [http://www.3dtotal.com 3D Total - a web community of CG arists, mostly into 3D concept art/design]
* [http://conceptdesignworkshop.blogspot.com/ Concept Design Workshop]
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