Other highlights so that I don’t forget (and in case you’re curious):

I loved seeing the color wall featuring colors and textiles over the history of the company. It’s fascinating to see how relatively neutral everything has become in the world of cars. The 50’s were my favorite. Bright reds and oranges. Fabrics with lots of texture.

I was super impressed by the facility. 85,000 square feet (huge). 65 employees (small). It was so cool to meet the real live designers of these vehicles. I can think of them fondly when I see a Toyota drive by.

I loved watching Ian and Edward as they drew cars while we watched. They used Macs, Photoshop and drawing tablets. I could have watched this for hours. They are super speedy. No really, they are super. speedy. And they make someone like me, that includes “knows photoshop” on her resumé, feel sheepish. Both Jean from NotCot and Karl from Core 77 made short videos of the sketching and posted them here and here.

Lunch was hosted on-site with a meal from Tradition by Pascal. The chef, Pascal Olhats, came out to say Hello. Possibly the best dessert (warm Tarte Tatin) I’ve ever eaten.

After lunch we went into the machining part of Calty and watched them make model parts. Like hubcabs. Fascinating to see the combination of very hi-tech and traditional lo-tech methods (like spray painting and gluing in black velvet fabric to create the look of holes) for making all the bits and pieces that make the models look 100% realistic.

Then the seminar was over. And I got to relax for the rest of the day. In Laguna Beach. Which meant I spent the afternoon by the water. (Skipped out on Fashion Island. The beach was just too tempting.) Watched the skim boarders. Walked in the sand. Wondered at how different the ocean looks from Laguna Beach than it does from Jones Beach.

My trip ended with dinner at The White House (for sure order the crab cakes) where I chatted it up with Katie from Architect, talked science fiction with Carl from Core 77. Learned about Mud Runs from Chad. And discovered from Joo, that escargoe can cause the same allergies as crab. (Duh to me! I had never thought about the fact that snails are in the same family as shellfish.)

Thanks again Toyota!

Most photos from the Toyota flickr site. Part One of this piece here. Part Two here.