Design insight: New BMW 7 Series

We are in Munich at BMW Welt, as in World, designed by the avant-garde Austrian architect Coop Himmelb(l)au as a hybrid of car showroom, entertainment venue and conference centre. Completed in 2007, it is now the second most visited site in the city. It is easy to see why. This is a fantastical structure of glass and steel that protrudes majestically up and into the clouds simultaneously sings to its neighbouring sites the Olympiapark and BMW... Read More

Responsible luxury: In talk with Henrik Fisker

Sometimes it is a question of good timing. In the case of Henrik Fisker it was a combination of this and possibly knowing the right people that won him substantial financial backing to set up his independent green car company Fisker Automotive in 2007. Born in Denmark, Fisker on graduation joined BMW’s advanced design studio in Munich becoming president of the firm’s Californian studio DesignworksUSA. From there he went on to Ford to become... Read More

Visions for 2020 hybrid McLaren

Premium marque McLaren Automotive has challenged third year transport design students at the Istituto Europeo di Design in Turin to pen their visions for a hybrid two-seater off-road McLaren for 2020. Working closely with McLaren design director Frank Stephenson, and the engineering team at the headquarters in the UK, the students developed their concepts based on McLaren’s lightweight carbon fibre chassis ‘MonoCell’ – a feature... Read More

Learning from manga

The former BMW design director Chris Bangle once told me he believes at times form needs to follow fantasy. ‘For the future of car design, function is the last refuge of the unimaginative,’ he concluded. The Japanese are masters of fantasy – reflected through their imaginative, virtual worlds of animation and comics, anime and manga. Bangle may have said this to ruffle the stiff collars of the automotive world, but can car design learn... Read More