“Bangle is arguably the most influential auto designer of his generation.” Phil Patton, New York Times, February 20, 2006.
One only needs to look down the street for evidence of Chris Bangle’s ingenuity and far-reaching influence.
A daring designer whose work has provoked endless discussion, Bangle is best known for his tenure as Chief of Design for the BMW group, where he was responsible for bringing the designs of the BMW, Mini Cooper, and Rolls Royce into the twenty-first century.
After attending the University of Wisconsin and graduating from the Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, California), Bangle began his career at Opel in 1981, and then 4 years later moved on to Fiat, where he designed the brazen Coupe Fiat. In 1992, he was named the first American Chief of Design at BMW.
Bangle is no stranger to controversy in the media, but what the journalists do agree on is that no other designer has had such a far-reaching impact in the automotive industry in this century. His mandate to “strategize emotion” through design has energized the typically conservative brand, updating BMW’s classic design with bold, sculptural lines, a far cry from homogenous car design. As a result, his daring designs have helped BMW become the global leader in premium car sales and brought in legions of new fans, spurring rivals to follow suit in emulating this distinctive style. During his time at BMW, he introduced GINA, an experimental concept roadster that explored the amazing effects of replacing the rigid metal skin of a car with a one of fabric that can change the shape and better respond to the challenges of manufacturing and aerodynamics.
After pushing car design language to its limits for twenty-eight years, Bangle announced his departure in February 2009 from the auto industry – but not from car design. He is pursuing his own design-related endeavors from his studio in Italy, focusing on new ideas and cutting-edge innovation. To create the proper structure for this in March 2009 he founded Chris Bangle Associates s.r.l. (CBA) at a centuries old Borgata in the hills above Clavesana – a famed center for wine in the Piemonte Region of Italy. Today, as the managing Director of CBA, Chris Bangle leads a team of designers and engineers, who, together with the Associates from the CBA clients, use the Borgata as a hybrid “Studio/Design Residency”. The open spaces and beautiful vineyards around the Borgata encourages the imagination; every year Bangle and his colleagues create large art pieces to add to the environs.
The experiences in design and innovation and the advice Bangle has to offer after over 25 years as a manager make him a speaker in demand; he travels frequently around the world to lecture, teach design, and consult with his Client Associates. He is married and has a son.
Learn More GINA Light Visionary Model www.bmwusa.com/Standard/Content/AllBMWs/ConceptVehicles/GINA/Default.aspx
Chris Bangle on Design
Video TED Talk – Great Cars are Art www.ted.com/index.php/talks/chris_bangle_says_great_cars_are_art.html
TEDx Munich – GINA meets PiNk!
InFrame.tv Documentary – Chris Bangle, Car Designer
If you want to make your car 15 years looks good, you had to make it 15 years looking.
Story is how the element make up design work together to create narrative.
Study: you had to absorb it into you heart.