See how tech firm Komma is rethinking future cities

The Urban Mobility Vehicle hovers somewhere between a motorbike and a conventional car. It is agile like a two-wheeler, but with the comfort and safety of four wheels. the UMV runs on electricity has a much smaller footprint than a standard city car and is around 34% more energy efficient than your average electric vehicle. Plus, it is designed as a premium product by former... Read More

Interview: Virgil Abloh and Gorden Wagener imagine a new kind of luxury design

Project Geländewagen is a fictionalised G-Wagen/G-Class racecar, stripped of all clichés of opulence. This experimental project is the collaborative work of the Mercedes-Benz creative chief Gorden Wagener and Louis Vuitton’s menswear artistic director and founder of fashion label Off-White Virgil Abloh. The product they have imagined together is the antithesis... Read More

From ‘Me Too’ to ‘Black Lives Matter’, How the car industry could do better

As Ford design manager and one of the only women in a senior position, in the 1970s and 80s Mimi Vandermolen helped pioneer the current ergonomic approach to interior design © Ford I entered journalism through the automotive corridor. Fresh from university, with a background in the arts, a Design History degree and virtually no real-life working skills, I took the first... Read More

Rolls-Royce Ghost is a peek into the new face of luxury

2020 Rolls-Royce Ghost © Leigh Banks The new Rolls Royce Ghost is reflective of a visual language for a (hopefully) more subtle and discreet post-pandemic luxury landscape. Seen – and to be driven later this month – this is an accomplished product that wears its wealth lightly. And I’m sincerely hoping the design team will entice their wealthy and influential... Read More

The ultimate car accessory could be this Negroni Trunk

A little while ago I co-wrote a book entirely dedicated to the sweet side of life – much of which existed purely in the imagination. The design critic Stephen Bayley generously wrote of The Life Negroni: ‘It is an album, a love letter, a guide, a memoir and a rich source of graphic delight.’ With a sweet spot for any project that defies convention... Read More

How the luxury landscape will change post-pandemic

Rolls-Royce Phantom V by Lunaz Rolls-Royce is calling it post-opulence. Bannenberg & Rowell say it is post-hedonism. Is luxury about to enter a new age? The reality is with almost any product or experience casually labelled ‘luxury’, the concept no longer holds any special value. Today, luxury is more than often brash, vulgar, and a mirror of the less... Read More

How will in-car UX design evolve with AI, AR, and 5G?

Modern car design is complex. No longer is it a question of sculpting advanced surfaces and forming beautiful shapes. The focus now is increasingly on the customer journey – directly our every little move even before we pick up the keys. So it comes with little surprise that creative thinkers are playing a bigger role in user experience design, and helping to shape... Read More

Mercedes design chief Gorden Wagener on how he plans to take the brand into the sustainable era

Daimler chief design officer Gorden Wagener with Vision AVTR at CES 2020 As chief design officer for Daimler AG, Gorden Wagener has the complex task of directing the design for Mercedes, Smart, AMG, Maybach cars, among other brands within the group. Lately, he has been consumed with the new EQ electric sub-brand and with such experimental cars as the Vision AVTR. Here he... Read More

Why businesses should support the arts post-pandemic

Sculpture by Leelee Chan, winner of the BMW Art Journey with Art Basel © Leelee Chan As head of BMW’s cultural engagement, Thomas Girst is deeply passionate about arts and ideas. He involves the company in some really interesting projects which not only help these artists and institutions – many of whom rely entirely on corporate sponsorship – but the... Read More

Is the future of luxury defined by post-opulence?

Under coronavirus lockdown, I’ve been involved in some really interesting discussions with designers. This was a particularly candid talk with Alex Innes, head of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Coachbuild Design on the future of the luxury landscape. He is calling the post-pandemic era one of post-opulence – an age where timeless objects will gain more value and customers... Read More