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Chris Bangle on Life and Design Management

Chris Bangle is not a man in need of an introduction. Controversial and opinionated, he’s made a name for himself by supporting his team and creating emotional designs. In this episode, Eric Gallina talks with him about his history, management systems and the zeitgeist.

Here’s a breakdown on the talking points for those who wish to skip through:

  • 0:00 – Intro and meeting Chris
  • 4:20 – Insulting Chris
  • 5:05 – Reacting to animosity
  • 8:50 – the job of a Design Director
  • 10:18 – Loyalty
  • 11.55 – Early years
  • 12:48 – Syd Mead
  • 13:10 – Ministry and the military
  • 14:15 – Wisconsin
  • 15:50 – Influences at university
  • 17:10 – Structures in education
  • 18:00 – The ‘Doer’ generation
  • 20:00 – On collaboration
  • 21:04 – Opel systems and social unrest
  • 22:25 – Fiat transition
  • 23:00 – Joining BMW as an outsider
  • 24:40 – MBOs
  • 25:15 – Making a deal
  • 28:00 – The future and MAYA
  • 31:00 – Design management
  • 32:00 – Overcoming to create
  • 34:00 – Creating systems
  • 35:00 – Three elements of support
  • 37:00 – Laissez-faire
  • 38:00 – Overly involved design directors
  • 40:00 – Getting on with it
  • 41:20 – Caring
  • 46:00 – The perpendicular and REDSPACE
  • 47:00 – The 90/10 outlook
  • 48:30 – Innovation
  • 49:00 – Six ways to change
  • 51:00 – Inverse A and B
  • 52:10 – The design process
  • 53:15 – What is “Car Design”
  • 54:00 – Animation
  • 55:20 – Form follows process
  • 57:45 – GINA and the team
  • 58:18 – What GINA deals with
  • 1:02:00 – Reset design thinking
  • 1:09:00 – Cybertruck and Brubaker
  • 1:12:00 – The zeitgeist
  • 1:13:00 – When car design sucks
  • 1:16:00 – Where is design really happening?

As always, you can find the FORMCAST podcast on all the major streaming services below and many more. And, if you’d like to see our faces and some cool images, I’ll also be uploading a video version of our conversation on the Form Trends YouTube channel in the not-too-distant future, so be sure to subscribe if you haven’t already.

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Founded in 2012, Form Trends tirelessly covers the automotive design industry in all corners of the globe to bring you exclusive content about cars, design, and the people behind the products.

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