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The Singapore government has appointed the BMW Group's director of design, Mr Christopher E. Bangle, to an International Advisory Panel (IAP) for design. In this capacity, Mr Bangle is expected to advise on how Singapore can develop its design and creative industries. This includes providing a global perspective on the scenarios, trends and challenges, advising on international best practices, proposing how Singapore can leverage its strengths and address its weaknesses and providing feedback on design and design promotion issues identified by the DesignSingapore Council.

Commenting on the appointment of Mr Bangle, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, Dr Lee Boon Yang said: "Although recognised for his bold expressions in car design, Chris is also well versed in the broader genre of product design. He is a world-class designer who dares to think differently, and possesses a strong vision balanced by a practical understanding of market forces. Chris' advice would be invaluable in advancing Singapore's growth towards a creative, knowledge-based economy."

The DesignSingapore Council is part of the Ministry for Information, Communications and the Arts. In its statement announcing the formation of the IAP, the ministry explained that in pursuing its goals of developing design excellence in Singapore and positioning Singapore as an international design hub, it must actively engage in dialogue and consult with both the local and international design community.

Mr Roland Krüger, Managing Director of BMW Asia Pte Ltd in Singapore said: "The BMW Group is honoured and delighted to be given this opportunity to contribute to Singapore. BMW cars are renown the world over for its premium image, cutting-edge design and innovation, the BMW Group through Mr Bangle will be an asset to the IAP."

As part of his visit to Singapore from Nov 4 to 5, 2004, Mr Bangle is holding a dinner-talk with local CEOs about how to use design as a competitive tool and a public lecture to students and young designers about the future of design. Both events are organised by the DesignSingapore Council and supported by BMW Asia Pte Ltd.

In his capacity as the BMW Group's Director of Design, Mr Bangle also oversees California-based DesignworksUSA, a wholly owned subsidiary that is doing car, product and communication design for the BMW Group as well as a broad range of non-automotive design and consulting for external customers.

Mr Bangle is one of the prominent personalities appointed to the IAP. The other members appointed thus far are: Mr Edmund Cheng (Chairman, DesignSingapore Council); Mr. Steve Hayden (Vice-Chairman of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide); Mr. Toyo Ito (one of the world's most innovative and influential architects); Mr. Toshiyuki Kita (architect, industrial and furniture designer and author); Mr. Richard Seymour (one of Europe's leading industrial/product designers).

Christopher E. Bangle
Director of Design
BMW Group

Chris Bangle oversees a team of over 250 people that are engaged in the design of BMW, Rolls-Royce and MINI cars, as well as BMW motorcycles and lifestyle products. The BMW Group also has a subsidiary in California called DesignworksUSA that is doing car, product and communication design for the BMW Group as well as a broad range of non-automotive design and consulting for external customers. His team comprises of design engineers, artists, colour experts, ergonomic specialists, materials scientists, clay modellers and computer wizards.

Over the last few years, Bangle has been the most talked-about designer in the world, especially following the introduction of the new BMW 7 Series in 2001 that ushered in a new design language for BMW cars. A new surface language introduced in the new BMW Z4 roadster followed the new sculptural forms seen in the 7 Series. These designs, together with Bangle's eloquent and passionate discourses on modern design, shook up the normally conservative car industry.

BMW Group products have won awards from the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design, Germany's iF International Forum Design and red rot design award.
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