NOTE: All of the design images below are subject copywrite laws and belong to Reem Al-Smeirat.
18 years ago, Reem Al-Smeirat was just a 5-year-old girl playing with toy cars when she saw her first BMW ever, and it was love at first sight ever since then.
Today, Reem is in her last semester at the German Jordanian University and is the youngest (and probably the only female) Jordanian to hold a certificate in professional clay car modeling.
Humanity Can Wait sat down with Reem and started off with the most obvious question:
Car designing is one of the most challenging yet exciting
professions. When I design a car, I take a little bit of everything in
this world harmonize my vehicle to perfection. Believe it or not, to me car design is about creating emotion.
In fact i believe cars are the most romantic machines ever built by Man!
Cars motivate you, they can take you to places that you want, they carry you in style, and you can always tell a lot about a person by what kind of car they want to have. Cars complete you!
Alright, so we get that you love cars. What made you think: “I WANT TO DESIGN A CAR!”?
I’ve been sketching cars ever since I knew how to hold a pencil. I’ve always wanted to design a car. My favorite quote is “I couldn’t find the perfect car so I decided to build my own” by Henry Porsche.
I feel as if that is exactly what happened in my case. The minute that the sketch is done, reality calls and its time for clay modeling!
So what is clay modeling exactly?
Well, the clay blocks we use come in rectangular slabs. This clay is then heated in a huge oven, and once it’s ready, it’s taken out and I build the model. Of course, there is special kit to help you sculpt your design.
This clay model helps the designer to sense the lines of the design and helps enhance the outcome, since at times, what we draw on papers and what we build are worlds apart.
The Middle-East is unfortunately still lagging behind in car design and modeling, although we have insane potential. To some, the idea of a girl like me designing a car is a shocker and
understanding why I would want to design a car is harder than understanding complex math.
However, there has been some improvement in the last decade. Universities have started opening majors in design and
industrial design, which I believe are the first steps to a clearer understanding of transportation and automotive design. In fact, in Dubai there is an institute that invites world known car designers to come over and teach young Arab students how to build and design a car.
This is awesome. Can you tell us the specifics of your model?
Yup. Being a BMW fan ever since I was 5, I couldn’t stop myself from designing my own BMW. For my model, I decided to
redesign the BWM 8 SERIES 1989, a car that BMW unfortunately stopped producing long ago.
The design behind my concept was generated from what made the BWM 8 SERIES 1989 one of the most talked about cars at that time: the pop up head lights, which the critics at the time found to be an ugly nightmare. I, on the other hand, found it fascinating. So, what I basically did was make the lines of the car streamline in and out just like the headlights do.
I also designed my model so that the air that touches the surface will flow in and out. The
window is incurved on the inside to give it a new flair. After coming up with concept and the feel of the car, I started
working on the technical details and the power that gets the car
What do you mean, “the techical details”?
Being a drifter myself and adrenaline junkie, it sounded natural
that the car would be a sporty 2-doors, and powered by a V8
engine. For the BMW to have such a big engine, it needed to have the support from the body. This called for a bigger wheel base, allowing room for more space. More space means 2 more seats, and I also increased the overall volume of the car, making it look bigger than the original. The 20-inch rims felt to me like a much needed cherry on top for this luxurious monster. With my design, you don’t only feel the power, you actually see it.