From Cars to Yachts – A Look at Former Renault Design Chief Patrick le Quément’s Career

Patrick le Quément joined an elite group of designers that have won the prestigious EyesOn Design Lifetime Achievement Award on June 19th. The ceremony was accompanied by speeches from Honorary Chair Ralph Gilles and winner of this year’s Design Catalyst award, Bob Lutz. Le Quément personally sent us this video spanning his career achievements, which he showed upon accepting the award.

Born on February 4, 1945 in Marseille, France, Patrick le Quément graduated with a BA degree in product design from Birmingham Institute of Art & Design in the UK. After graduation he began a short stint working on Simca products and, in 1967, he formed design consultancy Style International. He joined Ford’s UK studio less than a year later. At Ford he designed the Cargo truck and the influential Ford Sierra and, at the behest of his former boss, Uwe Bahnsen, Le Quément went on to get a business administration degree from the Danbury Management Centre.

In a move that shocked Ford’s management, Le Quément took on a role as Director of Corporate Design at Volkswagen in 1985, but he disliked Wolfsburg so much he set up a satellite studio in Düsseldorf. It would become the first of many he would create.

He returned to France in 1987, where he became Vice President of Corporate Design at Renault. During his tenure he oversaw the creation of the first generation Renault Twingo and Scenic as well as the Argos and Initiale concept cars, to name just a few. He was appointed Senior Vice President, Quality and Corporate Design in 1995 and joined the Renault Management Committee that same year. He has also chaired the Joint Design Policy Group, a common Renault-Nissan design body, since it was founded in 1999 and remains active on the board to this day.

In a roundup list, Automobile Magazine‘s Robert Cumberford named Le Quément as one of the top 25 designers of all time, stating: “Le Quément made Renault, a stolid state-owned producer of ‘socialist ideal’ popular cars, into a design force, the place where young designers wanted to be. He took in and trained designers from dozens of nations. Most French designers today have benefited, directly or indirectly, from his successful transformation of body shaping from engineering to design. Indeed, the design leaders of Peugeot, Citroën, and the new DS brand are all ex-Le Quément staffers.”

Following his 22-year tenure as head of Renault Design and 42 years in the automotive design industry, Le Quément made the transition from cars to yacht design, working as an industrial and strategic design consultant for Outremer, Garcia and Lagoon. He’s also co-founder of the Sustainable Design School in Nice, France.

Le Quément’s career achievements are incredibly impressive, and watching the film above it’s clear that he’s well-deserving of the award. He now joins previous EyesOn Design Lifetime Achievement Award winners Peter Schreyer, Wayne Cherry, Chris Bangle, Walter de Silva, Tom Gale, Giorgetto Giugiaro, Chuck Jordan, Robert Lutz, Shiro Nakamura, Sergio Pininfarina, Jack Telnack, Nuncio Bertone and Willie G. Davidson.


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