Adam Savage’s Very First Vacuuming Forming Project!

In this show and tell from the cave, Adam brings out an artifact that he has kept for its sentimental value, material usefulness, and magnificent design. This is a Bell Stratos cycling helmet that Adam coveted in the 1980s, and Adam explains why he loves it so much and how he even used it for his very first vacuum forming project!

Comments (3)

3 thoughts on “Adam Savage’s Very First Vacuuming Forming Project!

  1. Hi, Adam, Norm, and all at Tested! Adam, you asked about what made this helmet seem so of its time…. I’m a product designer with a lean toward entertainment (theme parks and toys), and maybe my two cents might help (or MAYBE NOT haha). I’m not a genius of any kind, but I’ve been thinking about what it is, too. Kinda thinking out loud (how do I say that for typing?). I’m sure part of it is handling it and feeling the kinds of materials and construction that would have been more common in the eighties, but for me, watching the video and not holding it, I instantly have Syd Mead (RIP 🙁 ) concept art flashing through my head. He did some magnificent headwear in his paintings and sketches. There’s a TRON sketch that comes to mind first. It actually just looks like a lot of his vehicles… and most everything he did…. The color screams ’80s dorm poster car (it needs to be worn by a model driving or by a Testarossa, F40, Countach, etc.). The shape is a sleek speed form shape with flush details making it seem very high tech and futuristic. Bike helmets have gotten so much more “complex” and sculpted looking since then, so it certainly doesn’t fit in with the norm now. It’s a very sharp streamlined shape, too. One curved line, and one straight one under. Doesn’t look like a peanut. One fairly low swoop. No complex surfacing as would be more popular after in design. Very geometric. Clean. Not a big, bulby foam chunker like I had in the nineties. So that low-arch profile spaceship look is maybe another thing. This helmet almost looks more like RoboCop had a baby with a Ferrari than a bike helmet. Maybe something out of an eighties space epic. It’s somewhat intimidating, but in a clean way. The visor is so much more stylish looking with it’s aggressive narrow to thick shape and angle than more “utilitarian” visors I’m used to seeing. Kind of changes the face/head into a sci-fi character. That shape just looks like it’s future fashion (but not in the totally overdesigned sense we OFTEN have today (not that that’s bad if you saw how much I love overdesigning things for fun haha). The way it extends so far off the back, and that sleek visor, look like a headdress, like it’s meant to be fashionable, although the length could be for aerodynamics(?). Not hiding the vents feels of the time, too. Think about the wild intakes and vents on sportscars of the time or the prominent speakers and grip details on electronics then. Showing off the function in a bold geometric way like that oozes performance and a technical aspect, and done so simply and clean just fits in with styling of the time. There isn’t anything on it that doesn’t need to be there. If that was a new helmet, it would have bezels around the vents, crazy shapes all over it, etc. The whole helmet is just so technical-looking and doesn’t have any more lines than are necessary on top of that speed form shape. A lot of eighties designs are defined, in my mind, by their opposition to more garish seventies designs. There’s a bit of a return to Bauhaus ideas in making materials and forms “honest,” and I think that comes across in the wave of Japanese electronics and new technology that appeared at the time. Very “modern.” I wonder, too, if simpler manufacturing techniques of the time are part of the clean and simple look it has, besides the style and function…? I don’t know if any of that resonates with your thinking or if even makes sense outside of my head…. haha It’s a lot of things all coming together that make it feel like that, I think. Simple geometric/streamlined shapes, honest design (not overdone), Ferrari red, RoboCop visor. There. haha Way too much. Easier to point at it and talk. I’ll wish I had edited this more and said something differen in about five minutes…. Take care!! Thank you for all the great videos and inspiration over the years here and elsewhere!


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