There’s something about steampunk that evokes imagination

What is it about Steampunk that I gravitate towards? I just can’t put my finger on it. Can it be defined as a design movement? There are plenty of movements that influence design. When I was in college New Wave design held our attention for a few years. New Wave seemed to parallel what was happening in Punk rock.  Actively defying conventions. Maybe that’s why I liked it in my youth, it was somewhat iconoclastic. There is and always seems to be some movement that influences design. Grunge seem to come along when we were looking for something to make our designs more organic. Computer programs and their canned textures seemed to be cold and impersonal. Grunge in design seemed to have so much texture. Oh how we needed texture in those early computer aided designs. History is full of design movements to draw inspiration from. On a historical timeline there are plenty design movements to chose from.  Many mimic social movements, other’s draw from music, art, fantasy or technology.

Regardless of it’s place on a historical timeline, Steampunk seems to draw it’s style from many genres. It is a futuristic world of science fiction that is steam-powered and filled with imagination. Steampunk seems to take us back to a time when Jules Vurne gave us a victorian science fiction and Nikola Tesla wanted to demonstrate his miraculous vision. Maybe it’s not a movement at all, even though some question if Steampunk is the new Goth. Perhaps Steampunk just defines a style that sets the stage for our imagination.

Steam Punk gets my creativity flowing.
That’s what happened the other day. During a creative input meeting we started talking about LED screen technology in the automotive industry, and how digital screen displays images of analog instrumentation. Everyone thought it would be cool to have the ability to switch your digital dash display. Imagine replacing you stock dash with a classic 1966 instrument bezel. Why stop there, why not Steam Punk! So I went home and illustrated that vision. Here is my concept illustration for a Retro-Futuristc inspired car dashboard.


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