A creeping sense of inevitability found its way into my mind as I walked my way down a country lane within the early darkening hours. Ahead of me I could see approaching headlights flickering a white light through the roadside hedgerows. I had with me a small lantern and I brought it to life in the hope of the cars occupants recognising another traveller in the quiet lands. The car sped around the corner in front of me and did me little more courtesy than remain on their side of the road. The driver made no attempt to slow down or take their headlights from the full beam. Blinded by the light I was forced to stop before I stumbled on the verge or tripped within one of the potholes festooning the poorly maintained roads.
As the car raced by me I was left muttering a few curses. It would appear I will be needing to remember to bring with me a lantern I refer to as a light cannon. The beam is extremely powerful and is often used to serve a reminder to the cocooned motorist to at least dip their lights for those of us who are more vulnerable on the roads.
Once I had regained something of my night vision I carried on with the little lantern spilling a gentle pool of light around my feet. I brought to my thoughts a sight I enjoyed a few weeks ago to add a little reason and peace of mind. For a time I stood within the early autumn sunshine and cast my eyes on an old MG sports car. The car seemed to resonate with both the care of the craftsman who made it and the care of the owner who clearly spent time and effort looking after the machine. Even to a layman such as I, it was obvious the MG allowed a sense of connection on a number of levels. It did not cocoon the driver from the elements or the road. It also held a beauty beyond many of its modern counterparts. It would struggle to match even a modest modern car with its performance and statistics. I imagined it would not be the best vehicle to sit in the traffic or travel at night in, but for those times when its owner took it for a spin on a warm afternoon it would probably be a true pleasure.
It seems to fill in many of the blanks many modern designers miss as they strive to hit enforced targets and economies. Sitting humans within a safe little bubble is understandable, but to encourage a connection, an empathy and a sense of joy is something of a far greater achievement. Perhaps if people could begin to feel that connection again, the value of things can be measured in more than facts and figures, but with emotions.