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2012 North American International Auto Show

Saturday, 21 January, 2012 8:28 PM

2012 AutoWeek Design Forum goes eclectic in its global and domestic input

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The conference was held inside the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education (formerly the Argonaut Building). It is the same building where GM Designer Harley Earl designed the first concept car.

 

by Pete Bublitz
petblitz@yahoo.com

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DETROIT -- Despite the early morning hours of January 12 being dampened by rain, they were more highlighted by a compiled group of several key design influences in the global automotive industry. Their purpose was to discuss their personal and company contributions during the 2012 Autoweek Design Forum, held on the 11th floor of the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education.

Despite moderator representation from the likes of Autoweek Media Group Vice President and Publisher K.C. Crain, Dutch Mandel and Wes Raynal, the guest figures of focus that day numbered five. The first to appear were Max Wolff, Design Director for Lincoln, Director Clay Dean of Cadillac, and Kia’s Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer.

After receiving fifteen minutes each to discuss affairs surrounding their companies, the trio joined together to share and volley answers from the moderator and audience about the state of automotive design. When asked about the need for dedication to their most popular products, Schreyer replied that “It’s not possible to be a luxury brand from one day to another.” As Wolff put it, “You have to have the right level of change between brands.”

When asked where the designer ranks in the company plan for such future endeavors, Dean noted that it comes down to how and what presented ideas provide to the overall picture. “[The] aspect of creativity is part of the creative process. You hope to find the little surprises.”

Dean’s comment on such detail in style was a nice segue into the address by the keynote speaker, Senior Vice President [of] Design Peter Horbury of the Geely Group. A British-raised figure in the industry, Horbury noted that “If you reflect where you come from, you get a sellable global product.” Hence, Hornbury mainly endorsed a brand of “Scandinavian design influence” in the model of auto frames and parts based on the goal of “perfection.”

Closing out the proceedings, just before a provided luncheon, Nest Founder and CEO Tony Fadell voiced concerns on future dependence of multimedia dependence within the vehicle. “We’re about distraction, we come from two different worlds. A car for these kinds of products is a display of monitor and mouse,” cautioning that such applications would be dangerously more eye-catching than the road.

Still, Fadell was optimistic about the transition in fuel sources that he gave this closing belief: “When we go to more electrics, it will get simpler.” With the issue of road infrastructure strength looming high, promises of less costly power is one comfy seat to lean back on.

For more information on the AutoWeek Design Forum, visit

Related Story: Pixar's "Cars 2" previewed at 2011 AutoWeek Design Forum


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PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

This is AutoWeek Vice President and Publisher K.C. Crain as he addressed the Design Forum in 2011.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

AutoWeek Editor Dutch Mandel in 2011.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Attendees were mingling during a break in the presentations.

 

 [ Click here for more coverage of the 2012 North American International Auto Show ]

Visit the official website of the North American International Auto Show

 

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