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"Entertaining on his own, and also intriguing and challenging, the day’s first speaker was BMW Group design director Chris Bangle. Given all the heat that car designs from BMW have taken of late, you might have expected Bangle to stand up in front of a room full of designers and defend his vision, or at least take credit for the recent successes of Mini and Rolls-Royce. You’d be wrong. He put forth a vision, but it was more of a challenge to automotive designers.

Briefly recapping the history of industrial design, automotive design departments in particular, and then peering into the future, Bangle noted several alternatives that could come to pass, and urged designers to shape not only automobiles, but their own roles in the business. Automotive design offices, he suggested, could be in danger of being turned back into the styling houses from whence they came, concerned only with appearances. If all designers do is “wrap a pretty box around” the car underneath, they fall short of their mission. If design is only discussed as being either retro or postmodern or whatever school describes the exterior appearance, designers will sell themselves short of influence in the industry. And that means they have to lift their eyes up from the computer screens and pay attention to the way they relate to the engineers, marketers and the others involved in the creation of new cars.

Working the intersection between function and form, designers should be most concerned with the way the customer relates to the vehicle, Bangle suggested. So it was that, leaving aside the debate over the prettiness—or lack thereof—of the latest BMWs, Bangle stepped right up and raised his hand to take responsibility for the human interface with the machine. In BMW’s case, that would be iDrive, a device no less a departure from industry norms than the pronounced trunklid on the 7 Series.

What it’s really about, though, is striving to make a connection with the eyes in the windshield."

http://www.autoweek.com/article.cms?articleId=101741
 

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Gustav said:
"Entertaining on his own, and also intriguing and challenging, the day’s first speaker was BMW Group design director Chris Bangle. Given all the heat that car designs from BMW have taken of late, you might have expected Bangle to stand up in front of a room full of designers and defend his vision, or at least take credit for the recent successes of Mini and Rolls-Royce. You’d be wrong. He put forth a vision, but it was more of a challenge to automotive designers.

Briefly recapping the history of industrial design, automotive design departments in particular, and then peering into the future, Bangle noted several alternatives that could come to pass, and urged designers to shape not only automobiles, but their own roles in the business. Automotive design offices, he suggested, could be in danger of being turned back into the styling houses from whence they came, concerned only with appearances. If all designers do is “wrap a pretty box around” the car underneath, they fall short of their mission. If design is only discussed as being either retro or postmodern or whatever school describes the exterior appearance, designers will sell themselves short of influence in the industry. And that means they have to lift their eyes up from the computer screens and pay attention to the way they relate to the engineers, marketers and the others involved in the creation of new cars.

Working the intersection between function and form, designers should be most concerned with the way the customer relates to the vehicle, Bangle suggested. So it was that, leaving aside the debate over the prettiness—or lack thereof—of the latest BMWs, Bangle stepped right up and raised his hand to take responsibility for the human interface with the machine. In BMW’s case, that would be iDrive, a device no less a departure from industry norms than the pronounced trunklid on the 7 Series.

What it’s really about, though, is striving to make a connection with the eyes in the windshield."

http://www.autoweek.com/article.cms?articleId=101741
well put.
i might not think all the new bmw's are the best looking, but i definately respect his mentality.
 

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If anything, I think he's just taking all the future glory and admiration that is in store for him in the future hiha

Most people do not like the way BMW is headed, but I personally love it. I love most/all aspects of the new designs in all models (except the X3, but I don't like SUVs for that matter anyway), I love the ease of use of i-Drive, and I love the handling and spirit that BMW cars possess. With all the new features coming out on cars, almost all manufacturers will have to do some type of i-drive in their own vehicles. As for exterior designs, many car companies (ahem, american ones) are starting to chicken out in not thinking of new innovative designs and only depending on retro ones to make sales.

From the beginning I always thought that BMW made a great step starting with the 7 series, and I still think they are.
 

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Bangle's message is weak. What is he talking about? Designers are not known for their etiquette at lunch or personal relations with engineers or whatever, it is the exterior beauty of the car that makes one of the best connections with the owner or human or "eyes behind the windshield." An ugly vehicle, like most every new BMW today, takes away from the ownership "experience." It denies a certain type of ownership gratification.

I am glad he took responsibility for the I-drive system. He clearly had a lot to do with it.

I see the 7 series everyday and I am totally amazed that that rear trunk area was ever approved for production. What an absolute eyesore.
 

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HBRAMSTEDT said:
Bangle's message is weak. What is he talking about? Designers are not known for their etiquette at lunch or personal relations with engineers or whatever, it is the exterior beauty of the car that makes one of the best connections with the owner or human or "eyes behind the windshield." An ugly vehicle, like most every new BMW today, takes away from the ownership "experience." It denies a certain type of ownership gratification.

I am glad he took responsibility for the I-drive system. He clearly had a lot to do with it.

I see the 7 series everyday and I am totally amazed that that rear trunk area was ever approved for production. What an absolute eyesore.
That's because you're conservative. Do not forget, that BMW are the best selling premium cars in the world! Over a million a year, so I assume they aren't this ugly to the customers.
 

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SOhp101 said:
If anything, I think he's just taking all the future glory and admiration that is in store for him in the future hiha

Most people do not like the way BMW is headed, but I personally love it. I love most/all aspects of the new designs in all models (except the X3, but I don't like SUVs for that matter anyway), I love the ease of use of i-Drive, and I love the handling and spirit that BMW cars possess. With all the new features coming out on cars, almost all manufacturers will have to do some type of i-drive in their own vehicles. As for exterior designs, many car companies (ahem, american ones) are starting to chicken out in not thinking of new innovative designs and only depending on retro ones to make sales.

From the beginning I always thought that BMW made a great step starting with the 7 series, and I still think they are.
I totally agree with you about the design of BMWs. And I like BMW's design too. When you mention the i-drive in other cars you're right. I can tell you that the new MB S-class (out in spring-summer) wil have one very similar to the BMW's.
So BMW was just to early to be understood, and so it is in design imo.
 
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