When I'm trying to explain what industrial design is to someone who's never heard of it, I usually begin with the example of car design. For some reason laypeople can grasp that someone had to first draw the Corvette, more easily than they can grasp that staplers, medical devices and housewares don't just automatically come out of factories.
With 1.4 billion cars on the road worldwide, for better or worse automotive designers have outsized influence on what our world looks like. This year we had conversations with many of them. Here's our list of the most illuminating.
At Jaguar Land Rover, the design department used to report to engineering. A takeover in 2008 reversed that, freeing the hands of Gerry McGovern, Land Rover's director of design. In this chat McGovern discusses the design principles that make Land Rover successful.
One of the coolest things I got to do this year was visit a car design studio, in this case Acura's, and talk to members of every single design department. I got to dig into not only what they do, but find out where they went to school, how they got their jobs, as well as what kind of person is suited to each particular design role.
Here's our six-part series on different car design specialities: