For a few years now, Dutch shoe brand United Nude has been involved in an experimental art project called Lo-Res. The project involves scanning everyday objects and gradually reducing their 3D resolution from complex curves down to a very simple, faceted form.
The latest object to receive the Lo-Res treatment is one of the iconic cars of the 1970s, the Lamborghini Countach. After scanning, the wireframe was gradually reduced until two cars were formed – a Batmoblie-like intermediate faceted body, and the final, very simple trapezoidal form that was built into an operating prototype.
While the final vehicle is quite a departure from the original Countach, it echoes the essence of the wedge cars of the late-1960s and '70s such as the Lancia Stratos Zero, the Lancia Sibilo and Ferrari Modulo. What it clearly misses is the artistry of Gandini, Giugiaro, Martin, Michelotti and others of that era.
It features a frame with a clamshell-like body that lifts using electric actuators to reveal a two-seat interior. The interior is an essay in minimalism with straight-backed seats in tandem like a bobsled and a stainless steel hexagonal steering wheel. Any traditional niceties have been left out so as not to interfere with purity of the geometry.
The car is electrically powered and, for safety reasons, is limited to 50kph (31mph). United Nude has stated that the car will be put into very limited production, depending on the demand. The brand also plans to continue developing cars, and its Lo-Res art project.
In an age where computer software is often used to create more complex geometries and complicated form languages, it is refreshing to see the dial turned in the other direction, if even for just an experiment in elemental, almost primordial form. Lo-Res may not be practical as a production vehicle, but as a sculptural object of inspiration to designers, it explores possibilities from outside the automotive space.