Head of Interior Design
Responsible for leading the team to develop designs for Volvo interiors globally, Lisa has held the position Head of Interior Design since 2020, In her previous role as Director Interior Program Design Lisa developed designs on the next generation SPA 2 platform. Prior to that she was Design Manger, leading the Interior design of Polstar 2 EV and the Volvo V60 and S60. She moved to Volvo Cars in Sweden with her family in 2014 from Bentley Motors, where she was an interior designer creating proposals and developing designs for Mulsanne, Continental GT, Flying Spur and special Mulliner projects. She also created proposals for Bugatti. Her success at Bentley saw her promoted to the role of Senior interior Designer. Prior to her time at Bentley Lisa worked at Jaguar and Land Rover as a computer design modeller, she joined the company in 2004 on a graduate scheme after gaining a first class maters degree at Coventry University.
Chief Design Officer
Gorden Wagener, one of the most influential automotive designers in recent times, has led the worldwide design unit of Mercedes-Benz and all its brands since 2008. As Chief Design Officer of the company since 2016 his goal for the brands of the Mercedes-Benz Group is to build the most desirable cars in the world. Wagener approaches this ambition with his design philosophy of “Sensual Purity,” which defines the specific luxury of the different brands. Wagener’s designs set new impulses in luxury and satisfy a desire for beauty and the extraordinary. This outlook is reflected most recently in the EQS, the Mercedes-AMG SL, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, the Vision EQXX, the Project Geländewagen & Project Maybach, Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Coupé & Cabriolet and the Vision AMG.
Advanced Design Director
An Automotive Design Leader with over 23 years’ experience working in vehicle design and graduate from Coventry University, UK. Carl has worked for multiple transportation brands across automotive, commercial, motorcycle and aircraft sectors. Today, he is the European Advanced Design Director for SAIC MOTOR, charged with leading an international team of creative designers at the SAIC DESIGN ADVANCED Studio in central London, UK. During his time at SAIC Carl has performed multiple roles including Interior Designer, Exterior Designer, Design Manager, Studio Chief, Advanced and Innovation Chief on many production and concept programmes. Key projects include Interior Designer of MG Zero Concept, Exterior Designer of MG5 and Concept 5 Showcar, Design Manager of MG GS, Chief Designer of MG CS Concept and MG HS. Since moving his focus to the London Design Studio, he has led his team to create concept cars such as ROEWE Vision-I and MG Cyberster as well as the next generation ROEWE RX5. His previous experiences include computer games design and art, rail, aircraft and motorcycles. Carl is a personable, passionate and strategic leader, focussed on pushing his creative team to explore and realise new ideas.
VP of Design
Ben joined Geely Design UK in 2018. The facility was renamed the Lotus Tech Creative Centre (LTCC) in January 2022, and Ben is currently Managing Director / Head of Studio, with overall responsibility for its day-to-day operation and creative output. It has since been renamed UKCC. UKCC is responsible for the design and development of the Lotus Eletre, and is working on two more lifestyle EVs – the Type 133 and 134. As an integral part of the global future of the Lotus brand, LTCC works with a broader creative remit to influence the future strategy from a brand level down, to ensure that all products and touchpoints are correctly considered and realised. Ben has a strong background as a consultant in automotive design. Working on an international level, he gained extensive technical knowledge and production car experience, spanning a number of major manufacturers and ranging from volume production to bespoke one-off models. His experience includes working with established brands to sensitively create next-generation products, as well as establishing new brand identities for start-ups. He has professional experience of working with in excess of twenty-five different brands, including significant OEM experience with Ford, GM, Bugatti and Aston Martin before joining Lotus.
Senior VP of Design
Executive Design Director GAC Advanced Design Los Angeles and Technical Director
Pontus Fontaeus is a renowned Swedish Designer with more than 30 years of design experience in areas of Automotive, Transportation, Architecture, Product, and Graphic Design including Advertising & Illustration, as well as Art. Pontus holds an engineering diploma and a Bachelor of Science in Transportation from Art Center College of Design in Switzerland. He has lived and worked in more than 8 countries around the globe and speaks many languages. He loves taking on new challenges and says he is very comfortable being uncomfortable. But he believes action speaks louder than words. He is in this business for one thing and one thing only - to be a part of creating outstanding products and cutting-edge designs together with his peers. Pontus says it has been an absolute privilege to experience so many different cultures and inspirational people from all around the world. His long list of work experience includes companies such as Volkswagen Group, Renault, Kia, Volvo Cars, Ferrari, and Land Rover. Over the years, he also had a stint in various design opportunities, including Singapore Airlines New Business Class interior, Scania Next Gen truck interiors, Scuderia One Cabestan chronograph by Ferrari, watch for Tag Heuer, and the architectural development of the VW Design Studio in Berlin. In 2015, Pontus moved to the United States to serve as the Design Director for Faraday Future - responsible for the FFZERO1 and FF91 interiors as well as for creating the iconic FF logotype, and leading branding, UX/UI, CMF, Experiential Architecture, Industrial Design, Visualization, and the Movie teams. He was also responsible for the interior of the LeSee concept car. In 2017, Pontus took on a new challenge to establish GAC’s first international design studio and elevate the design and brand of GAC for the next generation and beyond, under the guidance of GAC VP of Design, Fan Zhang. He has overseen the development of award-winning concept cars such as the ENTRANZE, the EN0.146, and the ENPULSE. In addition, the team at GAC Advanced Design Los Angeles, under Pontus’s direction, has been a formidable member of GAC’s global design network, influencing GAC Design with visionary design strategies, design process as well as many production vehicle proposals. Pontus is currently the Executive Design Director for GAC Advanced Design Los Angeles and also serves as the Technical Director for GAC R&D in China. Pontus does not distinguish between work and play, and says everything is interlinked – outside of his daily duties, he is a passionate cook and a contemporary artist and often blurs the boundaries between his professional and personal life. “Because creativity has no boundaries.”
Vice-president and Head of Global Design
A returning judge from the inaugural 2022 CDN People Awards, Martin M Uhlarik is Vice President, Head of Design at Tata Motors, a position he has held since 2021. A Canadian with 28 years of international experience. He directs a global design team of 180 people in three locations; India, the UK and Italy. He is responsible for the design of all products across three business units for passenger, electric and commercial vehicles. This remit also includes all design responsibilities including branding, corporate design and communication such as motor show and dealership design. Since 2022 he is also Director of the Tata Motors European Technical Center on top of his role as Head of Design. Born and raised in Toronto, Canada. He graduated in Industrial Design at the Ontario College of Design in Toronto in 1993 and Art Center College of Design in Transportation Design in 1994. He joined Tata Motors in 2016, first as Head of the UK design. Under his leadership he led the teams designing the 2018 45X premium hatch concept previewing the Tata Altroz and the Tata eVision which set out the ambition for electrification, the brand’s move upmarket and design DNA. In 2019 The Tata H2X concept previewed the Tata Punch which has created a new sub compact SUV space in the Indian market. In 2020 the studio created the Tata Sierra Concept a revival of an iconic name plate. Recently ht ecompany unveiled the Tata Curvv, the first SUV EV Coupe that will go on sale soon and the Avinya Concept that represents Gen 3 full electrification and the future DNA of Tata mobility. Martin’s international career has seen him work for several companies. He started by joining Skoda Auto in Prague, the Czech Republic. There he contributed to the design’s of the first generation of products. In 2001 he joined Nissan Design at their studio in Munich and later in London. There he worked on a variety of programs both advanced concepts and for production. In 2011 He joined SAIC Motor as Design Director of the UK studio from 2011 - 2016. He initiated the direction of the brand strategy for both Roewe and MG brands. This foundation has led to the design of the next generation of vehicles. Notable works 1999 Skoda Fabia 2001 Skoda Fabia Combi 2001 Skoda Superb 2002 Skoda Tudor Concept 2003 Nissan Evalia Concept 2007 Nissan NV200 Concept 2008 Nissan Qashqai+2 2010 Nissan Qashqai MCE 2018 Tata eVision Concept 2018 Tata 45X Concept 2019 Tata H2X Concept 2019 Tata Altroz 2020 Tata Sierra Concept 2021 Tata Punch 2022 Tata Curvv Concept 2022 Avinya Concept 2023 Tata Sierra
Vice President, Head of Design
Hyundai Style Group
Simon was born & raised in the UK growing up in Warwickshire and Northern Ireland. From his parents he inherited both artistic and scientific genes. His father is an engineer in the Automotive industry which exposed Simon to wonderful cars and influenced him to decide to combine his art and scientific skills to target a career in automotive design. He first studied for a bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering at Imperial college, University of London and thereafter completed a Masters Degree in Vehicle Design at the Royal College of Art. Throughout his studies he was sponsored by the automotive industry. Firstly by Rover Group then by Rolls-Royce and Bentley Motor Cars where, after graduating at the RCA, he started his working career. Simon spent 10 years in Crewe at Rolls-Royce and Bentley Motor Cars which included a number of special "Brunei Projects", a brief spell with BMW in Munich and completing, with the team, the original Bentley Continental GT under the ownership of Volkswagen. Shortly after this in 2001 he moved to Germany to work for Volkswagen where he lived and worked for 7 years before taking up the role of Design Director Volkswagen China in 2008. After 9 years in China he moved from VW to become Vice President Design for Hyundai China to guide their future model programs for this hugely important market. After completing the first projects he then moved in 2019 to Seoul, South Korea to take up his current position. In the recent years he worked with the global and local teams to deliver the Ioniq5, SEVEN Concept car (Los Angeles 2021 premier), Ioniq6 (on its way) and many other local and global vehicles. He works closely with Sangyup Lee and Luc Donckerwolke plus together with the global Hyundai design teams - 6 studios in total: California, Germany, India, China, Japan and South Korea. In all the Hyundai design team globally numbers around 600 people.
Konzepthaus group - an innovation consultancy that specialises in business transformation and finding the best pathways and people to fulfill their partners‘ visions through design & technological leaps. With over eight years of experience within the mobility design sector, Martin is positioned as an authority and design consultant who likes to challenge existing norms to create new ways of thinking about the design process. Highly networked with all leading global OEMs, Martin stays at the forefront of innovation helping to partner and drive new approaches throughout the industry. He works hard to elevate and innovate the industry, through his blogs, podcasts, community building events like Pistons & Pretzels and delivering new tools, such as Pathfinder to support new, upcoming designers into the industry. He’s also an avid Bayern München supporter, Aston Martin enthusiast and loves discovering the world.
Having worked as a design consultant for several car manufacturers, Mat joined Nissan Design Europe (NDE) in 2001. He worked on the brand's pioneering crossover line up of Qashqai and Juke with teams both in Europe and in Japan. He is now Vice President of Design for Nissan in Europe, responsible for every stage of the design process pertaining to the exterior and interior of Nissan models whose design has originated from NDE. From a project's concept phase, when the basic design takes shape in sketch form, through the prototype build phase with the NDE quality team, through to final production sign-off, Matthew is ultimately responsible for guiding his team's creations to fruition, as well as collaborating with his colleagues in Nissan Europe product planning and working globally to help define the brand's overall design strategy. With a “dare to do” attitude, the teams in NDE enjoy a spirit of freedom which allows for unexpected outcomes that will change not only the future of Nissan Design, but will also make their mark on the entire industry.
Russell Carr was appointed Head of Design for Lotus in October 2014, and took the title of Design Director in April 2018. During his 31-year career in design Russell has been involved in numerous exciting Lotus Cars projects, as well as leading design consultancy work for other brands. This rare mix means he has helped to shape everything from forklift trucks to superbikes, while benefitting from the opportunity to work alongside several renowned CEOs and respected design directors, gaining valuable knowledge from their experience and processes. Russell joined Lotus Cars in 1990, initially as a designer. He has overseen the introduction of several significant Lotus models including the second-generation Elise, three generations of Exige, the Evora, the 2-Eleven, 3-Eleven and 340R. In his earlier career he was lead designer on the Esprit S4/S4s, the Elise GT1, and was fortunate to work on some aesthetic aspects of Lotus’ Formula 1 cars. First ever job: My first proper job was working at a small advertising and graphics agency in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. My first automotive design job was at MGA, a design and engineering consultancy who worked with numerous clients including Ford, Austin-Rover and Triumph motorcycles.
Head of Design
Kripa’s love for all things mechanical; for machines, for materials and processes and the art of making it exemplary and inspiring has never ended. She completed her Mechanical Engineering degree from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani (BITS Pilani). A class project for Toyota in the final semester during her Master of Design Programme at IIT Bombay got her interested in automotive design and progressed into a career choice at Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. Kripa started her career in 1997 as an interior designer. In 2005, she was appointed as Head of Design and in that role she designed the popular Mahindra XUV 500 SUV. Kripa was promoted to the role of Chief Designer in 2015 after which she recreated iconic award winning designs for three products - Thar, XUV 700, and Scorpio. With 25 years of expertise in working on a broad product portfolio that included SUVs, pickups, trucks, tractors, construction equipment, last mile mobility solutions she has now turned her focus on electric vehicles since joining Ola Electric in 2022. She is excited to have the opportunity for the first time to work on a motorcycle portfolio, a personal passion being a biker herself.
Head of Design
A native of Belgium, Pierre Leclercq, 50 years old, studied Industrial Design for 4 years at the Saint-Luc de Liège Institute and studied at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California (USA). He earned a degree in transportation design in 1998. After a stint at Ford’s Ghia studio in Italy, he joined in 2000 the BMW group in California and Munich, and took the lead in 2011 in the design of BMW M, the high performance label of BMW. In 2013, he was named Design Director of the Chinese manufacturer Great Wall Motors, and in 2017, he was appointed Design Director of Kia Motors in South Korea. Since November 2018, Pierre Leclercq is Citroën Head of Design.
Executive Vice-President and
Chief Design Officer
Pratap Bose is a British Designer, born in Bombay, India. After completing his schooling at the Cathedral and John Connon School, Pratap graduated from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad with a Diploma in Industrial Design, specialising in Product Design He then moved to Piaggio & C. SpA, in Pontedera, Italy, where over a period of 3 years, he worked on the design of products for the world renown Vespa, Piaggio and Gilera brands. Having won a scholarship to study a Masters’ degree in Vehicle Design, at the prestigious Royal College of Art, Pratap moved to London in 2001. Following this, he moved to Japan to work as a designer at Mitsubishi Motors, Nagoya and finally at the Mercedes Benz Advanced Design Centre in Yokohama, Japan. Pratap then joined the newly formed TATA MOTORS EUROPEAN TECHNICAL CENTRE (TMETC) in 2007 as a Technical Specialist. He was a part of the team that established a UK Design presence for Tata Motors. Operating initially from rented design studios in Birmingham and Coventry, Pratap helped in the design and planning of the TMETC UK design studio at the NAIC, on the University of Warwick Campus in Coventry. The Design Studio in the UK became the epicentre of advanced product design projects for Tata Motors and has delivered some award winning and market leading products. This includes concept as well as production cars. Drawing heavily on the talent from the Birmingham and Coventry area, the UK Design studio is now an integral part of TATA MOTORS’ Global Design Studio network. Pratap and his team have received many awards for outstanding design from the motoring press, and other bodies in India and Overseas, including Auto Car magazine and the German Design Council. In 2018, Pratap was awarded the Chief Design Officer of the Year, by the China Industrial Design Association. In 2021, Pratap was shortlisted as one of five World Car Person of the Year awardees. In June 2021, Pratap joined Mahindra and Mahindra, as the Chief Design Officer, the first time such a role has existed at the Mahindra group. In this role, Pratap is responsible for the India, as well as UK based Advanced Design studio. Pratap and his team of over 100 design professionals work across a range of products from Tractors, Trucks, buses, pick-ups and SUV’s. Pratap is an avid modeller, and has a collection of over 65 World War 2, 1:72 scale plastic models, which he creates in his free time.
Chair and Director
Intelligent Mobility Design Center
Professor Dale Harrow is Chair of the Intelligent Mobility Design Centre (IMDC) and Head of the Intelligent Mobility Design Programme recognised as a global centre of excellence in automotive and design education. As a former Dean of the School of Design at the RCA, he introduced new Programmes in Service Design and International Programmes in innovation design and championed multidisciplinary design methods through new curriculum development
VP of Innovation & Design
Julien is VP of Innovation & Design at Archer where he leads technology innovation, aircraft design and customer experience development. Previously, Julien was heading Mazda Design Americas for seven years, focused on moving the company’s market position to premium by shepherding all expressions of the brand, ranging from automotive design to TV advertising to dealership architecture. Julien has also consulted with SPACEX Corp. to support the ongoing design development of the Dragon2 interior cabin and operating cockpit. He also has a longstanding passion for the ocean, rethinking the human-water interface to develop and patent a series of submersible vehicles with the goal of supporting the restoration of a healthy ecosystem through subaquatic exploration.
Oliver Samson holds the position of Design Director, Changan DEEPAL. He received a Transportation Design degree from Pforzheim University and taught there. He once worked as the Creative Design Director at Mercedes-Benz, California and the Exterior Design Director at NIO, Munich. He designed several well-known cars, including Mercedes Maybach Six Coupe and Cabriolet, Mercedes AMG GT 6, Mercedes Maybach Six, Mercedes Vision Tokyo, as well as several production cars. At Nio he was responsible for the exterior design of NIO EC6, NIO ET5 and NIO ET7. Samson boasts extensive experience in the field of automotive design and excels in developing holistic product design strategies with exceptional insights. Furthermore, he has demonstrated excellent leadership skills and cross-cultural communication abilities. In 2022, he joined Changan Global Design Center in Europe. Ever since he took charge of innovation research and brand development projects, he has been guiding Changan Design towards a higher level of maturity. As the Design Director, Oliver Samson plays a crucial role in the development of the DEEPAL brand. Under his direction, the design team created captivating and globally competitive product designs, thereby driving the brand towards success in the market.
Robin Page, British automotive designer, has 34 years of experience in the automotive industry of which he has spent over 20 years leading design teams. He is skilled in designing for high luxury brands such as Bentley, Rolls-Royce and Bugatti and more recently led Volvo Cars global design team to create an award-winning range of products. Prior to his 10 years at Volvo Cars, Robin led the Interior team at Bentley to create two generations of the Bentley Continental and Mulsanne range and the interior of the State Limousine for Queen Elizabeth II. He has now returned to Bentley to lead the team as Design Director.