Musings of an Aussie design strategist gone North

My First Interview ™


I was recently contacted by Michael Roller, over at Strategic Aesthetics, about giving an interview on my approach to strategic design in the automotive industry.

Mike blogs on strategic design in the product arena, a part of the design world that seems so similar to automotive design, but in many ways is so different (and, dare I say it, further down the design strategy road) and his request carried significant weight, working as he does for Kaleidoscope and lecturing at University of Cincinnati’s prestigious College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning. Needless to say it was a real honour and a pleasure to be given this opportunity.

It was a slightly daunting prospect given that it’s the first time I have collected my thoughts on the matter for public consumption, but I hope it gives some insight into my approach.

Many thanks to Michael for allowing me to hold forth!

Read parts one and two here!


Filed under: Car, Design, Design Education, Design Strategy, Uncategorized, , ,

3 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    My pleasure! I enjoyed learning more about the auto industry and getting your inside view of what’s going on.

  2. Rob says:

    Great interview!

  3. Massimo says:

    Hi Drew, generally i agree with your point of view, but ultimately how we get a bloody damn car done. The approach that you have given in the interview is fine, but all of this happen if designers (or their chief) are not even in control of their design process. The key to creative concept is definitely a more broad and strategic approach. But the key to execute it stands on the design process. Either one of this missing you are not “doing the right things”. Then we have 1 company that does both, few that does one of them, majority that do none. Reason are multiples. But designers gets frustrated by the lack of consistency and execution. it is very much good to focus on strategic thinking, but even more should be on the design process.

    An example as much as i love the Mazda concept series “Nagare” (for obvious reason), it does lack completely in design process and execution (wonder why!!!), and that’s way they will be remember as beautiful concept and no more, in 2 year we will forget about them (shame).

    Execute a streamlined Design process in a major company means fight, argue, decide. And as we now not many are up to it with the big guns inside companies.

    BTW prove of concept in what i say: L VD’A left Mazda.

    Let me reiterate: Strategy Aesthetic COUNTS!
    Design Process IS KEY!!!

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© Andrew Philip Artois Smith and DownsideUpDesign, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Andrew/Drew Smith and DownsideUpDesign with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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