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August 22, 2008

Get Bangle in the car and drive

Most of the interviews for the film have already been shot, but there are a few late additions we’re doing this month. One is BMW’s Chris Bangle. Bangle is based in Munich, but we missed him when we were in Germany a few months back. He was visiting the States this week to attend the Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach, so DP Luke Geissbuhler and I headed out to California to meet up with this controversial designer. “A wild-eyed revolutionary destroying one of Europe’s blue-chip luxury brands?teststarter The most influential automotive designer of the early 21st century?” asked an article in Motor Trend. The Concours was a complete circus… there was no parking, it was swarming with people, and it was impossible to find a quiet place to interview Bangle anywhere near the show’s headquarters at the Lodge at Pebble Beach. So Luke and I commandeered a new BMW X6, threw Bangle in, and headed north along the Pacific coast. We found a vacant stretch of land overlooking the ocean, and actually conducted most of the interview inside the car. Our conversation topics included the evolution of automotive design over the last 50 years, the emotional appeal of the automobile, the differences between European and American design, his work at BMW, and his thinking on user interface, materials, sustainability, and the future of car design (and even of the car itself). At some point soon we’ll be uploading clips from a number of our interviews for your viewing pleasure. 300-206 Back to the studio, –Gary

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Patrick Austin says

Aug 25, 2008

I look forward to some of the interview footage. I like BMW's current crop of cars, certainly a lot more than earlier Bangle designs. The Z4 has grown on me. The 7-series is the best looking car in its class. The 1-series looks just about right.

Then you see any modern BMW parked next to one made before 1990 and you want to cry, because the older cars looked so right. They looked simultaneously delicate and muscular, which is exactly how they drove and which is exactly what every die hard fan of the marque misses today. Bangle didn't ruin BMW and his designs are great, but he's an easy target for a lot of pent up rage.

gary says

Aug 25, 2008

Nice points, Patrick. Actually, the Daily Telegraph this week is releasing the results of a reader poll of the 100 Ugliest Cars of All Time. They're announcing them in reverse order, 20 cars per day. Bangle's already made the list today at #98 with his 7 Series.

smeidu says

Aug 26, 2008

his work on the BMW GINA Light Visionary Model is stunnin. Very good interview with him about his car on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTYiEkQYhWY

Fabricio Dore says

Aug 28, 2008

I think it's great that the conversation also moved away from cars as products but as pieces of technology that we interact with.

I am curious to listen to what he has to say about it.

Cars are great examples of the hybrid design that we do today where disciplines get intertwined. Although it is so, there's also so much still to be done on that realm.

ben says

Sep 01, 2008

So I heard GINA was conceived before Bangle arrived, he just had the vision to make it happen, going be interesting to see what he has to say, looking forward to it.