Time and Design

Time and design — what happens to your offering as it lives in the world?  How can you design with that in mind?  That might mean optimizing for beausage, or perhaps recognizing that the dynamic experience of your offering — as exemplified by the Rivendell SpeedBlend bike tire — can be so much more interesting than that provided by a static object.

And then there’s the Kumho Ecsta MX-C automobile tire, which puts an entirely new spin on tire smoke.   When spun faster than the corresponding groundspeed of the car they’re attached to, tires burn.  Burning rubber emits lots of smoke, generally of a bluish-white variety. 

Kumho’s innovation was to recognize that, as with SpeedBlend, the experience of a tire in motion could be designed.  In this case, that meant formulating the rubber compound such that it emits dense red smoke when burned.  Here’s a photo and video of the tire in action from Automobile Magazine (I highly recommend the video — if Pontiac made GTO ads like this, their sales would be oh so much higher):


Please recognize that while I find the Kumho tire interesting from a "how in the world are we going to differentiate our product in this market?" point of view, I’m not an advocate of crazy driving.  In fact, I hate it when people speed in the wrong context, such as all the cell-phone-porting-latte-quafing-fast-driving jerks who drive down my suburban street at ten over the posted speed limit. 

But for the time and the place where a well-laid patch of rubber is just what the doctor ordered, why not make it a red one?


5 thoughts on “Time and Design

  1. From The “Because We Can” Department …

    Diego Rodriguez features the Kumho Ecsta MX-C tire in his latest Metacool blog post about product design. You can now, apparently, make a statement when you peel out of a friend’s driveway or lay some rubba’ at the next stoplight.

  2. Hello i was wondering if it possible to buy this kind of tires! that when u burning it gets red instead of the normal boring white color.
    if that is possible can u send me an e-mail!
    from David in Norway!

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