To celebrate the fact that the first Land Rover Defender was produced 65 years ago, Studio Job was asked to take this 4×4 in hand. In their own way, they have created an ode to the vehicle that makes many of us dream of adventures. Eventually, it has turned out to be more than simply a revised or upgraded vehicle. The result is a sculpture that questions escapism, power relationships and above all Studio Job’s own work. “Designing a car is the same as when, as a designer, you’re sometimes given the chance to redefine a hotel: it’s a higher goal. You don’t get such important commissions every day,” says Job Smeets, founder of Studio Job. “On top of that, Defender is an emotionally charged icon. We’ve approached that golden carriage in our own way, maybe not so much from the angle of this one car but rather from the phenomenon of the holy cow in general.”
As you would expect from someone who knows nothing about making a car, our approach got completely out of hand. The numerous elements kept accumulating. The car literally sticks its tongue out. It wants to be something that it actually isn’t. It’s become a great concoction, monumental and cynical.
Job Smeets continues:
A fictive status symbol that other people supposedly look up to. It’s also a nudge at designers who are asked to design a concept car and who then invent a stylish-looking apparatus that is launched with all the necessary bells and whistles. So we also take aim at the car industry: I can already imagine the chief sitting in this modern carriage, with the chauffeur in the front and his various wives and children in the back. A Popemobile for an African chief, personalised in a bizarre way.
The project has been interpreted in different ways: as a pamphlet against outward appearance, as an ode to a holy cow, as a painful joke or as a rather unsubtle protest. Besides what the car tells about the context it is placed in as a car, it also gives an insight in the world of Studio Job. The sculpture has above all become a sampling of the many exclusive materials and monumental techniques that Job Smeets and his partner Nynke Tynagel have used during recent years. Bronze, wood, crystal, textiles, ceramics and stained glass can all be found on the Land Rover. Studio Job, throughout different projects, has been using all these materials, in varied shapes and forms, now combining them all on one.
We love how Studio Job exemplifies with this daring design its knowledge of the power of the different materials and how to combine them in a completely idiosyncratic fashion.
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