A Week of Icons – AUTO DESIGN WEEK IN REVIEW 3/26/12

This past week was a rather slow week in the world of auto design news.  Yet we still managed to stumble across several articles about icons that you should find interesting, from BMW’s search for auto designers, to a iconic Hispanic shirt, to the retirement of an icon.  Along the way we also cover a couple of new vehicles that we won’t get in the States, a couple of design contests and an ongoing issue that bears repeating.  So let’s get right into the news and find out why BMW has no problems finding design talent…

Interview with an Icon

Adrian van Hooydonk was interviewed recently about the challenges of being in charge of the BMW design legacy.  It is hard to believe he has been there for more than 20 years, as he mentioned himself.  He also mentioned that he “never <has> trouble finding enough designers to work on a car.”  (you have to read the article to find out why).  I am sure there are plenty in the industry that would change places with him for that reason alone.  He waxes poetically about the new 3-Series; “On the side view you can see the elegance of the new design.”

An Icon Retires

Speaking of icons, the infamous Willie G has announced that he will retire from his position as Head of Design of Harley-Davidson the end of April.  He will stay on as design chief emeritus but the day-to-day operations will be turned over to Ray Drea.  Willie, we are sad to see you go.

A Wearable Icon

The world of clothing fashion and auto design intersects once a year in Miami during Fashion Week.  This year Ford partnered the Fusion with an iconic Hispanic shirt called the guayabera to “offer a glimpse into the convergence of global design”.  Ford’s own Anthony Prozzi, who earlier this month was in New York, got to travel to Miami and discuss how the vehicle design process incorporates many elements of fashion.

Some New Vehicles we won’t get in the States:

First up is the 2013 Chevrolet Trailblazer, an honest-to-goodness body-on-frame SUV with 3 rows of seats destined for worldwide sales but nixed here because the Equinox is “more CAFE friendly”.  Along side the Chevy, Ford unveiled the production version of the Ecosport, a  Fiesta-sized crossover that apparently is too small for the US market.  Someone forgot to tell Buick.

A Couple of Design Contests

Ward’s is sponsoring their 3rd annual student design competition at the Center for Creative Studies.  The students were tasked with marrying environmentally friendly and well suited to life in crowded cities with space for friends and family, and multi-purpose capabilities in a way that buyers will embrace by year 2025.   Winners will be announced at the SAE World Congress in April.   A more aesthetic design competition is the Art Car Contest being sponsored by Dunlop.  They are looking for someone to give the Ferrrari F458 Italia a unique look.

Would One of You Designers Please Help this Kid Out?

Every couple of weeks I get a notification that someone has posted the same basic question at yahoo Answers or Ask.com.  It occurs to me that either every kid wants to be an auto designer, or no one is answering this poor child’s request.  Would one of you please respond?

About Frank Schwartz

Frank Schwartz is the founder of CarFriend.me and Advanced Automotive Consulting Services, partner in The Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment and serial entrepeneur. A long time automotive enthusiast, Frank started reading car magazines at the age of 8 and has spent 30+ years working inside the automotive industry. In his spare time Frank races with the Sports Car Club of America, spends time working on his numerous project cars and supports many local charities.
This entry was posted in Auto Design Week in Review and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s