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An endeavour in discontinuity. Car design of the future

An endeavour in discontinuity. Car design of the future

Open lecture by the celebrated American car designer Chris Bangle in SPD on Wednesday July 14th.

American designer Chris Bangle has been one of the most influential car designers in the world. On Wednesday July 14th he will give a talk at SPD where he is conducting a one week long experiment into new design languages in the form of a workshop involving with 15 young car designers gathered in Milan from all over the world to partecipate to this experience. The lecture is open to the general public and will begin at 18.30.

With past experiences at Opel and FIAT, Bangle is best known for his work as Chief of Design for BMW Group where he was responsible for the BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce motor cars. He left the company in 2009, after seventeen intense years which radically transformed the identity of the brand, to pursue his own personal design interests and develop his consulting firm, Chris Bangle Associates.

Reflecting on the evolution of automotive design since the invention of cars and the influence of production processes and new materials on the outer shape of cars, Chris Bangle will draw attention onto new and unexpected shapes that might be able to better interpret new social habits and gestures as a part of the experiential concept.

Symmetry and continuity in surfacing is still a part of our car design legacy that Bangle challenges with revolutionary concepts such as discontinuity, irregular shapes and surfaces. Bangle will thus point out there may be many advantages to be discovered by abandoning “surface continuity” paradigm in car desing as well. The automotive painting process for instance, geared to give us shiny reflectivity on continuous, almost smooth surfaces, is the most energy intensive part of car assembly that could be radically transformed if not cancelled by researching into new design solutions to be applied on the body work. Furthermore this could allow emerging cultures to use their own heritage and settle their own interpretations of the automobile. What exactly is a Korean car, or a Chinese car? According to Bangle’s vision, non continuity is a way to get future car designers to think outside of the restrictions of the “business-English” shape dogmas of today.

Bangle’s lecture is part of the DesignTalks programme, the conference series promoted every year by Scuola Politecnica di Design to explore the most interesting research trends in design, architecture, graphic and multimedia. Among the invited guest for the 2010 edition: Pierre di Sciullo, Ji Lee from Google Labs, Susan Sellers from 2X4, Luna Maurer, Cristina Chiappini, Giorgio Oliviero from ToDo and Patricia Urquiola. After the summer break the next lecturer at SPD will be Marti Guixé on Wednesday September 22nd at 18.30.