The Problem with Car Design

The Problem with Car Design

There is a problem with car design today. Citroen revealed a new small coupe a while ago they’re launching sometime soon.

When I first saw it, something struck me. Being Citroen, I thought I was going to see some cool, funky shapes and innovative B-pillars but this time it was surprised. The surprise soon turned into disappointment when I realized how extremely generic and boring the new concept car was.

What happened?

I decided to make a quick experiment. I wonder what would happen if we simply change the front grille and rebrand this design. Would it work?

There’s a problem with car design today. ALL cars from ALL manufacturers look exactly the same! It’s boring and uninspired. What happened to brand identity? Like the Citroen DS1 or the Deux Chevaux? Cars with personality.

Now all cars have the same proportions and lines. Uuugh. Nobody is going to remember this new Citroen even a year from now. Go bold or go home!

I remember being in a workshop in Italy with former BMW chief of design, Chris Bangle, a few years ago. He’s approach to car design really made me think. He said something like this:

“Imagine a regular car. Let’s talk about all the features 99.9% of all cars have such as four wheels, symmetry, metal, grille, headlights, smooth surfaces etc. Now, let’s design a new car but the difference this time is that we will remove 4 of these main features and let’s see what we come up with.”

This was one of the most interesting workshops I’ve ever had the privilege to be a part of. The design we came up with were exciting, innovative, challenging and was such a creativity booster.

Now I do realize that when mass producing cars, you have to stick to some rules. But does that mean that every single car out there has to look exactly the same?

Why can’t we break out of the mold and create something different instead of just tweaking a few lines here and there?

What do you think? Do you agree or do you think this is completely nuts? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear it!

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