Citroen design director Alexandre Malval is set to become head of design at Daimler AG’s new advanced design center in southern France. The new role will see him build up the design team at the all-new studio, which will undertake a series of projects for the German company’s brands, including Mercedes-Benz.
Malval has been with PSA for 17 years, most recently as Citroen’s design director, a position he held for the last six years. Prior to that, he worked as a design manager at Peugeot for three years following an initial eight year stint as a designer and design manager at Citroen.
A graduate of the Royal College of Art, Malval joined Renault as an exterior designer in 1993; his first job out of school. He later worked for Volkswagen Group’s Design Center Europe in Sitges, Spain.
Daimler’s as yet unopened advanced design studio will be located in Sophia Antipolis, France – just a stone’s throw from Toyota’s ED2 advanced design studio. The region, west of Nice, has been experiencing a lot of automotive industry growth in recent times.
The new studio will be the fourth Mercedes-Benz advanced design center globally, joining the California, Beijing and Como studios. The Como, Italy, design studio is expected to be replaced by the larger studio in France.
All of Mercedes-Benz’s global advanced design studios were established to track trends within different parts of the world. This enables new ideas from different continents and cultures to influence design. But it also enables the company’s designers to think more independently, away from the main Sindlefingen design headquarters.
According to Daimler, the studio in Sophia Antipolis will employ roughly 50 designers from every design discipline (exterior, interior, advanced and UI/UX design). Future projects for the brands and business units of Daimler AG will be developed in the new ultra-modern working environment, which makes an appealing prospect for any designer.
“We are very pleased to have attracted Alexandre to the Mercedes star. His expertise and talent greatly enhance our international team,” says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Daimler AG. “With our new design center, we are returning to the origins of our brand in southern France. Mercedes-Benz is the automotive luxury brand which we will develop further, under outstanding conditions, on the Côte d’Azure.”
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