Art & Design Magazine

Car Design Is: Starting from Scratch Or from a Technical Base?

By Luciano

Car design is: starting from scratch or from a technical base?

Renault Twizy early prototype

Dear friends,
today I decided to write about a subject to which I am very attached: the meaning of Car Design!
I do it because in internet, via several Social Medias (Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook...), I read several times a sort of article saying that "...this is real Car Design starting an amazing project from scratch and I am lucky to do it because this is the reason I went to school for and today I am paid for..."!
Since I am a car designer and design manager with over 26 years of experience and I consider myself (maybe I am wrong but I do not care) a design educator, too... I'll tell you again how I feel about the meaning of doing Car Design.
In other words the question is: (car) Design is creating from nothing or taking into consideration all hard-points related to technology, cost, complexity, production, ergonomics, functionality at so on?
First important message to all of you is: Hard-points on a given project (technical or costs problems) are the great opportunity to create Design because "To Design" is not "To Style".

To Design something means to make a project  to make sure to elaborate, modify technically, costs control & timing control of that project with  an optimized and functional synthesis of which the result we will call project Design.
Form follows function! I would like to add the word "emotion", too. (simply because it is the Design philosophy I like).
Instead, the risk we run into when we make a project from nothing reinventing everything as we prefer and like will give us a perfect "school project" which remains a nice  styling exercise well fitted for any design school activity (students show with it their skills not their project skills because they do not have any experience in the real design world yet... and it is normal and accepted).
Second important message to all of you is: to Design a car (or any products) is a lot more complex than what you might think!
So in conclusion my opinion is: To Design a car is a series of complicated aspects that have to be digested by the team. Designers must work their skills with creative proposals that fit and help the project problem solving (taking all those aspects into consideration during the project evolution is a sign of designer professional maturity Vs spoiled frustrated stylist artists always crying).
Design managers are those that with the same professional maturity will work to make the right synthesis which means applying the right project management strategy for a win win negotiation to bring the project to life respecting: Design, Costs, Quality & Timing.

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