This Volkswagen factory in Dresden is beautiful. The outside is almost completely glass, the floors are made of hardwood and the parts are transferred by robots that move along thousands of magnets embedded in the ground.
When the production process is a work of art, it makes the end result feel more impressive. Some companies, like Apple, focus on beautiful packaging, but it doesn't say much about the craftsmanship. Unlike the iPod, the Phaeton — the luxury car built at the Transparent Factory — is not an impulse purchase.
Seeing the care put into its creation makes dropping $75,000 (minimum) on a car an easier pill to swallow. More importantly, it makes you believe, or at least hope, that they put the same effort into producing their more affordable cars.
"David Wax and his team at Free Green turn the home design business model on its head. They are charging exactly what most people are willing to pay for design: Nothing." They make their money from partnerships with vendors they include in the design plans.