Design-Philosophy 2018-06-21T15:55:47+02:00
1406, 2018

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stf18 - Event Berlin / Volkswagen Group Future Center Europe in Potsdam - Designer Group (c) VWAG - 02

Automobile design changes to mobility design

“Design will play a key role in deciding which automobile brands sur- vive in the future,” commented Michael Mauer. The Head of Design at the Volkswagen Group perceives new challenges for automobile designers over the coming years. This is because they will define no less than the future of mobility and the role that automobile design will play in that process.

The world is undergoing rapid change. The mobility of the future will be defined by completely new parameters and completely new options. Design will be the key factor in defining how the automobile is perceived by its users. The design of shapes and lines, the texture of surfaces, the selection of materials, the format of window surfaces, the size and distribution of the interior space, the configuration and characteristics of the seats and the control elements – all these are criteria which determine the mobility experience. And depending on the brand and the model, with their help design creates vehicles which perfectly match the individual needs of customers. … more

The designers

Michael Mauer
Michael MauerHead of Design at Volkswagen Group & Head of Porsche Style
studied automobile design at Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences from 1982 to 1986. In 1995, he launched his career in the automobile industry. After he held positions in Stuttgart, Japan and Sweden, he has headed the Design Department at Porsche since 2004. As Head of Porsche Style, he was responsible for the Panamera sports saloon, the SUV Cayenne and the Porsche 918 Spyder. Since 2015, Michael Mauer has also been Head of Design at the Volkswagen Group.
Klaus Bischoff
Klaus BischoffHead of Volkswagen Design
has headed global automobile design at Volkswagen since 2007. He was responsible for the I.D. Family and therefore for the milestones of the brand on the journey to the future of the automobile. The designer with roots in Hamburg took his degree as an industrial designer at Braunschweig University of Art in 1989. Since then he has worked continuously for Volkswagen – first as an interior and exterior designer, subsequently as a concept designer and since 2007 exclusively as Executive Director of Volkswagen Design.
Achim Anscheidt
Achim AnscheidtDirector of Design, Bugatti
as been Chief Designer at Bugatti since 2004 and his responsibilities have included the Chiron, various Bugatti show cars and a number of versions of the Veyron. Anscheidt gained a reputation at an early stage as a trial junior champion and motorcycle acrobat. He studied automobile design at Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences and at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, USA. In 1993, he began his career at Porsche and later went on to head Advanced Design of the Volkswagen Group in Barcelona and Potsdam.
Marc Lichte
Marc LichteHead of Design, AUDI AG
has headed Audi Design since February 2014. As early as 1996, he commenced his professional career at Volkswagen AG while he was still studying “Transportation Design” at Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences. Before changing to Audi, Licht rose to become Head of the Exterior Design Studio at Volkswagen and worked on series models like the Golf (Generation 5, 6, 7), Passat, Touareg and Arteon. His designs at Audi included the new Q8, A6, A7 and A8, and studies like the Audi prologue.
Stefan Sielaff
Stefan SielaffDirector of Design, Bentley
ranks among the most influential designers in the automobile sector. Alongside a variety of models of the Audi A8, the A7 and the luxury SUV Bentley Bentayga were created under his aegis. Sielaff started his career in 1984 as an intern at Audi. After studying at the Royal College of Arts in London, he worked at Volkswagen and Audi, where he headed the Audi Design Centre from 1997 onwards. Three years ago, the Munich-born designer took over the management of Bentley Design.
Albert-Johann Kirzinger
Albert-Johann KirzingerHead of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Design
has been Chief Designer for the brands Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and MAN Latin America. He already focused on “Transportation Design” when he was studying for his degree at Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences. He has designed passenger trains (Interregio of DB, hotel trains for Russia), commercial vehicles and long-distance buses. In 1999, he moved to the Volkswagen Group and worked on a variety of designs including for Audi, Bentley, Bugatti and VW. The Caddy 4, T6, Amarok, Delivery and Crafter bear his signature at VWN.
Holger Koos
Holger KoosHead of Design MAN Truck & Bus AG
Holger Koos is Head of Design at MAN Truck & Bus. Together with Rudolf Kupitza, Head of Design Truck, and Stephan Schönherr, Head of Design Bus, he heads the MAN creative line “Engineering Vehicle Styling”. Around 20 designers, engineers and modellers have been working in the department based in Munich-Karlsfeld since 2014. All three have long careers with MAN: Together, they look back on 80 years of career experience with the commercial vehicle manufacturer.
Oliver Stefani
Oliver StefaniChief Designer ŠKODA
has been Chief Designer at SKODA Auto since September 2017. Born in Braunschweig, Stephani studied design in his home city and at the Art Center in Pasadena, California. In 2002, he came to the Volkswagen Group, worked there in various functions including the Design Centre Europe in Sitges (Spain) and advanced to become Head of Exterior Design for the Volkswagen brand. He has played a key role in the development of the models up!, Polo, Jetta, Tiguan, the current Golf and the I.D. Family.
Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos
Alejandro Mesonero-RomanosHead of Design SEAT S.A.
has been Head of Design at Seat since 2011. He is responsible for a number of models including the Arona, the fifth generation of the Leon and the SUV Ateca. After studying industrial and automobile design in Barcelona and at the Royal College of Art in London he started his career at Seat in 1995. Two years later, he moved to the Design Centre of the Volkswagen Group in Spain where he worked on the exterior of the brands Seat, VW and Audi. He then held various positions abroad – and in 2011 he returned to Barcelona.
Mitja Borkert
Mitja BorkertHead of Design, Lamborghini
Has headed the Centro Stile Lamborghini in Sant’Agata Bolognese since April 2016. After studying Transportation Design at the University of Applied Sciences in Pforzheim, he has held various positions at Porsche since 1999, including as Head of Advanced Design and since 2014 as Head of Exterior Design at Style Porsche in Weissach. His responsibilities have included models such as the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo, Macan and Mission e and the Lamborghini Urus.
Andrea Ferraresi
Andrea FerraresiChief Designer Ducati
studied in Pisa and started his career in Borgo Panigale, Bologna, in 2000. Initially, he worked as a project manager with responsibility for all superbikes from Ducati, In 2005, he took over management of the Design Centre. His model innovations have included the Hypermotard, Diavel and Panigale, and he is responsible for the new editions of the classics Monster, Streetfighter and Multistrada.
Kristopher Hansén
Kristopher HansénHead of Design and Form Design Scania
has been Head of the Design and Styling Department at Scania since 2001. After studying industrial design, he was responsible together with his colleagues at MAN for the biggest vehicles by far in the Volkswagen Group – and is unable to envisage doing anything better. “The work here is ideally suited to me. It often feels as though this is my favourite hobby.” Hansen designed among other vehicles the new XT Series, the second phase of the new modular truck generation from Scania.
1206, 2018

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Design is ubiquitous and forever

We live in a design culture. Everything that surrounds us in the increasingly digital world has been “designed” – invented, conceived and brought into a form in order to achieve a purpose. And this is not, as many people mistakenly believe, simply to look special or appear different, unusual or somehow be unique.

Good design makes a product useful. This is one of the ten principles that Dieter Rams developed about good design. The simple, highly functional creations of the former Chief Designer at Braun – razors, record players, kitchen appliances – served as a source of inspiration for design at Apple. iMac, iPod, iPhone and iPad – visual appearance, haptic touch and functional operation are interconnected inseparably with each other. Ingeniously simple and therefore also simply ingenious. Even critics of the iconic brand with the apple have to admit that the smart-phone generation and the mobile digital life of today might never have existed without the product world of Steve Jobs. The disciples of “mobile devices” would probably already have failed at the stage of menu navigation.

Developing worlds of experience

Alongside iPhone & Co., Jony Ive, Chief Designer of the cult products from Cupertino, was also responsible for constructing the futuristic Apple headquarters, a gigantic doughnut in California, and the natural look and concept of the worldwide shops. Facade, reception, staff communication, product presentation – all this has been meticulously thought out and “designed”.

Nothing about the market profile and the brand perception of global brands – whether electronics or automobile manufacturers – is left to chance in today’s world. Albert-Johann Kirzinger, Chief Designer at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles & MAN Latin America, puts it in a nutshell: “We are no longer simply designing a product. Our function now is to develop worlds of experience.”

Consistently down to the last detail. According to Ram’s principles, this is an essential ingredient for good design. Apple’s “look & feel & work” brain, Jony Ive, has driven this consistency to the pinnacle: The extremely thin housing of the Mac computer, for example, can be opened without having to use a screwdriver. “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” is reputed to have been a principle of Leonardo da Vinci. This is an aspiration that Steve Jobs also applied. His creed was: “Design is not simply what something looks like. Design is also how something works.”

Design makes brands tangible

Brands are not perceived abstractly, but objectively. This makes designers an “empathetic agent” in the eyes of Willi Diez, Professor of Business Studies and expert on the automobile industry. Diez: “They translate ideas, innovations and opportunities into an accessible form. And this decisively influenced our experiences of how things are handled in concrete terms. Design makes the brand tangible.” It defines the brand experience in a very elementary way. And it should make things talk – metaphorically speaking.

“Design is absolutely important for modern brands,” said Winfried Menninghaus, founding director of the Max-Planck Institute for empirical aesthetics in Frankfurt. “I wouldn’t know who could ever afford to allow design to be handled in a banal approach.” For decades, product development was very technical and this meant it was driven by engineers. “Form follows function” – this absolute guiding principle was regarded as non-negotiable. “Form follows function – that has been misunderstood,” lamented Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959), architect and co-founder of organic architecture, throughout his life. Wright was convinced that “Form and function should be joined in one spiritual union.”

Good design as a competitive advantage

Over recent years, the design factor has immensely increased in importance. At the same time, this has enhanced the status of the designer. The automobile industry has been no exception and the status of designers has increased significantly there. Today, they are involved in the development of new vehicles at an early stage. They define functionalities with their ideas and help to implement technical requirements in a way that is friendly to customers. Depending on the manufacturer and brand, they style the exterior and interior of vehicles, as well as designing the sales showrooms, the means of staff communication and not least the marketing instruments.

“Design makes the difference,” is something Michael Mauer knows only too well, Head of Design at Volkswagen AG. “In future, brands will be successful if they quickly identify customer needs and find answers with aesthetically sophisticated and innovative product experiences.” Like for example the all-electric I.D. Family and the autonomous self-driving SEDRIC.

Both have no radiator grille as a consequence of their electrified drive technology. And this means they draw on the design elements of the original models from Volkswagen – VW Beetle and T1. Which proves that Good Design is for eternity. Not even digitalisation changes this.

Volkswagen Group Future Centre Europe in Potsdam

Volkswagen Group Future Centre Europe in Potsdam

Interdisciplinary Team for Mobility of the Future

New collaboration with users as the central focus: Vehicle Design and User Experience (UX) Design work hand in hand on future mobility concepts. The Volkswagen Group Future Center Europe in Potsdam provides results of the digital strategy for the Volkswagen Group. … more

Volkswagen Group Future Centre worldwide

Volkswagen Group Future Centre worldwide

Interdisciplinary teams across the world work together to develop the mobility of the future

Mobility of the future is being created in three Volkswagen Group Future Centres in Europe, Asia and California. Interdisciplinary teams of designers and digitalisation experts are working hand in hand on new mobility concepts and a seamless digital user experience. … more

The designers of the Volkswagen Group Future Centres

Peter Wouda
Peter WoudaDesign Director Vehicle, Volkswagen Group Future Center Europe
designs vehicles and mobility concepts for the distant future. The autonomous self-driving concept car SEDRIC (SElf DRIving Car) is a particularly fascinating example of his work. Peter Wouda studied automobile design in Pforzheim and then at the prestigious Royal College of Art in London with a grant from Volkswagen. Since 1996, he has been working as a designer for the Volkswagen Group. From 2000 to 2006, he was responsible for exterior design at the Czech brand ŠKODA. From 2006, Peter Wouda headed Exterior Design at the Design Centre in Potsdam. The exterior profile of a large number of exciting studies was created there under his management, including the “Concept Blue Sport” Roadster and the iconic VW XL1.
Peter Ortlieb
Peter OrtliebHead of Design, Volkswagen Group Future Center Asia
Under the management of Peter Ortlieb, a multidisciplinary team of 50 creatives works on the development and design of mobility for the future at the Volkswagen Group Future Centre Asia. Work here focuses on customer needs and trends in Asia. Peter Ortlieb has a wide range of experience in the Chinese automobile market. From 2012 to 2017, he was Head of FAW-Volkswagen Design in Changchun where he was responsible for development of market-specific concepts and series models for the Volkswagen brand. Peter Ortlieb started his career in 2003 with a job as a clay modeller in Volkswagen Design. This was followed by a degree at the Magdeburg Design Institute for Transportation and Industrial Design.
Markus Auerbach
Markus AuerbachDirector of Design, Volkswagen Group Future Center California
studied mechanical engineering in Munich and industrial design at the Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design. After initial professional experience in the motorcycle industry, he started his career in the Design Department of the Audi brand in 1998. Markus Auerbach initially worked on interior design for the models Audi A3, Audi TT and Audi R8, before he changed to exterior design. He held various positions there including for the areas of lighting and advance development, and for concept cars and motor-sport vehicles. In 2012, Markus Auerbach took on the challenge of building up the Audi Innovation Research Office in San Francisco. Since August 2017, he has headed the Design Studio at the Future Centre California of the Volkswagen Group.

Concept cars

Volkswagen I.D. VIZZION
Volkswagen I.D. VIZZION
The I.D. VIZZION is the fourth member of the I.D. Family from Volkswagen. The 5.11 metre luxury class saloon gives an impression of mobility in the future. It drives fully autonomously, it has voice and gesture control and thanks to constant interconnectivity the digital world it is also capable of learning and emphatically present at the same time. The I.D. VIZZION can therefore guarantee any form of space needed by its passengers while they are on the move – whether it is for relaxing, for communicating or for working.
Volkswagen I.D. CROZZ
Volkswagen I.D. CROZZ
Commanding like an SUV, dynamic like a coupé: The I.D. CROZZ captivates as an interactively designed all-rounder with variable interior space and electric 4MOTION all-wheel drive. The large swivel and sliding doors are opened using innovative voice control. The battery located in the centre and a drive unit at front and rear put the handling characteristics of the first Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV) from Volkswagen at the high level of the Golf GTI.
Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo
Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo
Pure e-mobility in sporty peak form: Porsche presents an all-electric sports car for an active lifestyle with the concept study Mission E Cross Turismo. Four doors, four single seats, a large tailgate, enhanced ground clearance – and a front bonnet in the style of the 911. The system output of 440 kW (600 hp) takes the sports car from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds. The range is 500 km (NEFZ). Thanks to the innovative 800 volt technology, 400 km of range is recharged in just 15 minutes.
Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo
Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo
It is scarcely possible to feature an electric drive more spectacularly. The concept car Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo raced directly out of the virtual world of the PlayStation onto the race track. Since April 2018, the electric super sports car has been used as a race taxi in Formula E. Three 200 kW e-motors power the one-off special: two drive the rear axle and one drives the front axle. The system output: breath-taking 600 kW (815 hp). The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h takes less than 2.5 seconds.
Lamborghini Terzo Millennio
Lamborghini Terzo Millennio
On the way to the third millennium: The power of the Lamborghini Terzo Millennio flows directly into the four interconnected wheel-hub e-motors of the super sports car. This approach is intended to apply the full torque to the wheels. CFRP composite materials support the battery and also form the frame and the structure of the high-powered racing concept car. The bodywork is intended to be able to identify potential cracks after accidents and repair itself through microchannels.
Bentley Continental GT
Bentley Continental GT
Since 2003, the Bentley Continental GT has ranked among the most fascinating Gran Turismos on the market. The entirely new W12 petrol engine with two turbochargers, direct and indirect injection and cylinder deactivation is also used to power the SUV Bentley Bentayga. The 6.0 litre engine with an 8-speed double-clutch gearbox generates 467 kW (635 hp) and applies a torque of 900 Nm to the crankshaft. The fast two-door GT takes 3.7 seconds in the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h and has a top speed of 333 km/h.
The VISION E concept car is the first all-electric vehicle from ŠKODA. The five-door SUV coupé meets all the requirements for stage 3 autonomous driving. An array of sensors with different ranges and numerous cameras constantly monitor the traffic situation. As a result, the ŠKODA VISION E drives alone in traffic jams or on the motorway, is able to keep lane discipline and take evasive action to avoid obstacles, can overtake independently and even manoeuvre in and out of parking spaces on its own. Optimum recuperation permits ranges of 500 km.
Ducati Panigale V4
Ducati Panigale V4
Motor-sport technology for the road: The Panigale V4 writes an important new chapter in the history of Ducati. The first four-cylinder engine manufactured in volume production by Ducati is installed in the new superbike from Italy. The power unit generating up to 226 hp is derived directly from the “Ducati Desmosedici” V4 from MotoGP, the royal class of two-wheelers. The chassis, electronics and design concept of the Panigale V4 was created in close cooperation with the racing professionals from Ducati Corse.

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