Recently, Chris Bangle, ex-Chief of Design at BMW, attended a fundraiser event as a guest speaker. He spoke about his design philosophy and sat down to chat with the folks over at MotoBullet.
Here is an excerpt from their article:
“Bangle joined the Wolfsonian for a weekend-long celebration of the car as rolling sculpture. While this idea has been used many times before, the Wolfsonian Museum provides the perfect backdrop to emphasize there is life in industrial design. Located in the art-deco nucleus that is Miami, the Wolfsonian specializes in showing there is personality in bricks, mortar, and metal.
It’s easy to understand why Bangle doesn’t see polarizing elements as design setbacks. He embraces unique vehicles that incorporate elements that go beyond simple function. Life and personality is what he is looking for in his designs. Bangle speaks with enough affection for unique car designs that finishing a car is like creating a child. He gives it unconditional love, flaws and all.
But Bangle admits that modern cars don’t just live in a vacuum of design, and they must adapt to the reality of the situation. For example, he explains the creation of the Bangle Butt as largely due to: “The reality of engines pushed the hood up 6 cm, and that caused a chain reaction all the way to the end of the car.” In the final product, even the compromises of reality don’t dilute the art of a well-designed car. Bangle believes that when love and passion go into a design, they breathe life and personality into that inanimate object, turning it into “the biggest sculpture ever.”
This life/art balance is where Bangle feels most at home, and his comfort has led to exploring new boundaries. He made the Gina concept car out of fabric so the body could contour instantly to new shapes, including creating a winking feature for the headlights. He has also utilized paper origami to incorporate into sheet metal car bodies.