In the words of the great David Letterman, my next guest truly needs no introduction. I’m going to give him one anyway. Chris Bangle, longtime head of BMW design and one of the most famous and iconic automotive designers of all time, recently joined us from his office in Italy to talk about design. We were incredibly excited to talk to Bangle about his designs in the past, his current work and pick his brain a bit on the current state of automotive design.
Bangle is a fascinating man in that he was once the head of design for one of the largest manufacturers in the world, leading massive team of people, and now he runs his own design firm with a team of just ten people in a small town in Italy. Not only is that interesting, its enviable, to just take a step back from the big corporate world and get a bit more creative with product design.
In this interview, we talk about a great many things, including the automotive industry’s current state of design, how autonomous driving will affect car design, some of his current projects and some of his past work.
As BMW enthusiasts, you probably want to hear about this time at BMW and some of the famous, or infamous, cars he and his team designed. If that’s the case, you’re in for a treat because Bangle does talk a bit about his time there and some of the cars he designed. One such car is the BMW GINA concept, a car that I personally asked him about and was incredibly excited to hear about. The GINA has always been one of my favorite BMW concept cars because it’s just so funky and odd. How the GINA came to be is really an interesting story.
The most interesting part of the interview for BMW enthusiasts is the part about the E60 BMW 5 Series. The E60 was one of the first cars to get the “Bangle Butt” nickname and the most infamous Bangle-era car. However, the car wasn’t designed by Bangle, he was just the head of design at the time, not the actual designer of the car. How the E60 5 Series came to be was actually quite touching and it’s a story that should give you a different perspective on the car. I know it did for me.
So please have a listen, as Chris Bangle is one of the most interesting and important designers of our time and certainly left his mark on the auto industry. As always, the episode can be found on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher.