AW Design Forum: Nissan Design Boss Challenges Cookie-Cutter Design
By Greg Migliore
Using provocative words such as “guilty” and “fearful,” Nissan Design America chief Bruce Campbell was blunt in his assessment of the current state of car styling: There's too much sameness.
Speaking at the AW Design Forum on Thursday morning in Detroit, Campbell pulled no punches, pointing to the bad economy, global design--and fear--as reasons for blandness in sheetmetal.
“We are guilty of this sameness. . . . There is an atmosphere that leads to sameness in design,” he said.
Campbell said global designs make sense for financial reasons, but he argued that cars should be tailored to individual tastes around the world. Cars such as the Dodge Challenger, Campbell's Nissan 370Z and the Chevrolet Camaro are standouts as sports cars, but many other segments--such as the midsize arena--appear far too similar.
His solution is to take risks--while still being fiscally responsible--and to use emerging technologies such as hybrids and electricity as canvasses for new expression.
“We need to be bold and really challenge ourselves and challenge the sameness,” he said. “We need to be bold and not to be fearful.”
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(Pictured: Nissan Design America chief Bruce Campbell candidly spoke about the state of car design at the AW Design Forum on Thursday; photo by Roger Hart.)
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