Gilles Vidal and Peugeot on car design

I spent some time this afternoon with Gilles Vidal, Vice President Design with Peugeot, and his team visiting Stanford.

It was so refreshing to have a wide ranging conversation about automotive design with this very smart group.

A key point – it’s not so much of a challenge now to design a well-engineered car. The design challenge is all about people and connections – how an artifact like a car relates to people’s needs and desires, experiences and identities, and where the automobile is part of an ecology of global relationships that reaches into just about every aspect of everyday life.

The design challenge, as I keep exploring in my posts here, is how to understand these relationships, how to research them and incorporate them into the design process.

There’s a great gallery of pictures at carbodydesign.com of Gilles, the team who worked on the Peugeot 208, the design process – [Link]. It’s something of a contrast to this point about interconnectivity, focused as you would expect in a magazine like this, on the artifact. Coincidentally, I’m in the process of posting a series of images about ceramic design – [Link] [Link] – part of one of my longest running projects – to understand ceramics.

A great and related challenge – how do we represent the design process, a distributed array of people, artifacts, locations, meanings, values, knowledges?

This is an archaeological challenge.

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