17 November 2022 | 10:15-18:40 (UTC)
The Car Design News team will provide an introduction on what to expect from this year’s Los Angeles Forum, fireside discussions, panels, awards, and our interactive closing keynote.
A leading designer from LA sits down with James McLachlan, editor of Car Design News for an interview to discuss topics such as design philosophy, materials, electrification, sustainability and more.
Thanks to ever-evolving technology, designers are better connected to the consumer than at any point in automotive history. Data gathering on consumer behaviour is helping identify their changing habits and needs, allowing designers to respond and make decisions while alleviating risk. But how will this connected world change car design? Can new ideas such as mixed-reality strengthen the bond between designer and end-user via virtual studio tours, and behind-the-scenes access where OEMs can demonstrate their commitments concerns such as the environment? And what does this melding of physical and virtual worlds mean for car shows?
Network with industry people
There are many design studios in California and often these facilities form the tip of the spear in terms of research and concept development and are examples of how design departments bring in myriad influences, talents and technology. The need for a strong relationship to the mothership is imperative, even more so in a post-pandemic world, but why do global OEMs position these outposts in the Golden State? What is the relationship between the environment and interior design? How much does it inform aesthetics, materials and user experience? Do these ideals translate in other parts of the world? And what is the relationship between the innovation hubs across California and the design and technology strategies for automotive manufacturers?
An anthem to the car, Los Angeles is increasingly associated with gridlocked streets and declining air quality. As one response, forward-looking automotive and mobility designers have been turning their attention to the skies. OEMs are keeping a close eye on the development and putting forward their own flying concepts, but will these airborne solutions ever take off? How do they relate to design philosophy and technology for electrification, autonomous driving and mobility-as-a-service (MaaS)? And how much is the research into elements such as light weighting feeding into contemporary car design? This panel will look at the impact designers are having on urban air mobility (UAM) and its feasibility.
We'll discuss: • The environment behind early designs • How MaaS could evolve on the ground and in the skies • Is a flying vehicle the next car? • Is UAM design impacting today’s contemporary vehicle design? • What to expect in interior, exterior, accessibility, sustainability and more?
Network with industry people
Design studios want to position themselves to be around the next generation of designers in education who will shape this industry in the years to come. But design educators and colleagues need to keep automotive and mobility design relevant in an industry that’s undergoing fundamental changes. What is the role of design educators beyond teaching the fundamentals and tools of car design? How do they keep up with changing trends in materials, vehicle architecture and software? How will they help the next generation of designers create mobility for a demographic that will use vehicles in different ways, with more focus on flexibility, over-the-air software updates and UX?
As EVs continue to develop, contrasting approaches to exterior design are emerging. The fundamental question designers are wrestling with is whether electric vehicles need their own distinct form language that rejects ICE-age design or whether the changes should be more subtle. With aerodynamics and light weighting forming crucial elements to EV design in terms of maximising range, some OEMs are looking back to the streamlining era of the 1930s. Still others are channelling retro-futurist designs that reject curves in favour of strong folds and crease lines to create striking geometries. How will concerns over sustainability influence and the advent of autonomous driving influence design decisions? Ultimately, in which direction is exterior design headed? Will EVs bring radical new looks or will it be a case of ‘meet the new boss, same as the old boss.’
James McLachlan interviews a lead designer on the go: This will be an interactive session from studio to stage. An adventurous and detailed closing session with an opportunity for the audience to join the designer and James in a walkthrough of the vehicle.