Hydra Design Labs is an automotive design studio in Southern California providing full design, engineering, CAD and fabrication services, from ideation through to full size builds.
Hydra was launched in 2010 after the closing of the Mitsubishi Motors R+D studio in Cypress, CA by a team of automotive design veterans: Jon Hull; Mike Desmond; Gary Ragle; and Chris Schuttera. Together they have worked on over 28 concept vehicles and over 24 production cars.
The Hydra Design Labs focus is to provide all design services needed to take the client’s project from ‘ideation to fabrication’.
Hydra Concept Car side
Hydra Concept Car front
Hydra Concept Car rear
Hydra’s designers have worked for several OEMs, including Mitsubishi, Ford, Chrysler, Nissan and Infiniti. In addition, recently they have also worked with Northrop Grumman on re-designing a military vehicle.
Hydra Design Labs takes its name from the mythical creature Lernaean Hydra, and like its namesake is also a multi-headed beast. The company is comprised of four designers, each of whom has been working as a professional in automotive design for at least the last decade.
Hydra GT Concept front
Hydra GT Concept rear
Each designer was handpicked to form a new kind of design studio, an all-star team of the hottest automotive design talent. Each has worked on both production programs and concept cars, designing both exteriors and interiors. Individually each can stand alone, running an entire project from ideation to manufacturing. But bring the designers together, and the full force of the studio can be felt in collaboration on one project.
Hydra’s design team has an arsenal of skills ready to attack any project. Their designers specialize in many different aspects, including concept and production cars, custom cars, eco-friendly vehicles, motorcycles and movie concepts.
Mike Desmond, the former Design Director at West Coast Choppers, not only brings his experience as a professional automotive designer, but his motorcycle design skills as well. Gary Ragle has worked as a car designer in California, Japan and Detroit. He has designed numerous concept and production vehicles, and his ability to distil design to its essence while always bringing something new and fresh to the table is a great strength.
Northrop Grumman GMV side
Northrop Grumman GMV front
Northrop Grumman GMV production
Chris Schuttera has worked for several automotive design houses, and has also designed airplane interiors. His knowledge of interior design and his ability to rapidly develop themes for even the most complex design challenge is unparalleled.
The design team was put together by Jon Hull, who has over 19 years of experience as a professional automotive designer. He has worked on both exteriors and interiors for concept cars and production vehicles, and is also a CAD specialist with a background in plastics engineering.
Jon Hull is the president and one of the designers of Hydra Design Labs. Jon has had over 19 years experience as a professional automotive designer. While at Mitsubishi Motors Jon had the chance to work on exterior and interior designs for both production models and concept cars. He also used his experience as an expert CAD specialist to help take projects from ideation through design to final surface data. Aside from being an automotive designer Jon has a background in plastics engineering. Jon’s design and CAD skills help to provide the Hydra Design team with the creativity needed to solve the biggest design challenges, while his project management skills give him the experience needed to lead the hydra design team.
Gary Ragle is one of the designers of Hydra Design Labs. Gary has over 14 years experience as a professional car designer. He has worked for Mitsubishi and Ford, taking him from California to Japan to Detroit. His love for Hot Rods has long been a driving force behind his career path and ultimately has led him to become of one of the most sought after Hot Rod designers. His love for classic cars has been influential throughout his career even as his jobs took him down a more modern path. The distilled beauty and raw power from classic American Hot Rods can be seen filtering through many showcars and production cars he has worked on. Garys’ ability to distill design to its essence while always bringing something new and fresh to the table is an amazing talent that greatly strengthens the Hydra Design team.
Mike Desmond is one of the designers of Hydra Design Labs. He has been a professional automotive designer for 21 years. During that time he has worked at Mitsubishi Motors, Boyd Coddingtons, and more recently as the Design Director at West Coast Choppers. His love of classic American car design led him to Mitsubishi who were looking for a designer to bring an American sensibility to their designs. After leading Jesse James’ design team at West Coast Choppers Mike ventured off on his own. Never one to rest on his laurels Mike taught himself to become a tattoo artist whose work is now highly sought after. Mike is also an exhibiting artist with gallery shows displaying his latest oil paintings. Mike’s design talent is undeniable and his ability to push the envelope and walk the line of alternative counter culture brings an added edge to the Hydra Design Team.
Chris Schuttera is one of the designers of Hydra Design Labs. Chris has been a professional automotive designer for 18 years. Over that time he has worked at Chrysler, Mitsubishi, and Ken Okuyama Design as a car designer and at C+D Zodiac designing airplane interiors. Chris excels at both exterior and interior design, but its interior design where his skills are unparalleled. Chris’ knowledge of interior design and his ability to rapidly develop themes for even the most complex design challenge is truly remarkable. His love of car culture is a major influence in his life and can be seen throughout his work as well as his personal life. Chris’ creativity, skills, dedication, and enthusiasm for cars has turned him into one of the most well respected designers in the industry. The experience and talent that Chris brings to the Hydra Design team is indispensable.