Jaguar’s Director of Design, Ian Callum, received the Interior Designer of the Year award at this week’s the Automotive Interiors Expo.
“I find it hugely gratifying that I and Jaguar Design are being recognized for interior design,” said Callum, who is responsible for all of the brand’s design activities. “The interiors of Jaguars have always been very special places for me personally, and so it has been essential to create new, fresh ideas, while maintaining the warmth and fun that is true to the brand.”
You may be asking yourself why Ian Callum has been bestowed this honor. Well, that answer is simple. Under Callum’s stewardship, Jaguar’s interior design has gone from lackluster to avant-garde, employing such modern mechanisms as the dial that raises from the center console to reveal the rotary gear selector and air vents that open and shut when instructed to do so.
The interior of the C-X75 concept, created to celebrate Jaguar’s 75th anniversary, was a technical highlight and, most recently, the interior of the new F-Type — which draws inspiration from fighter jet cockpits and features a joystick-shaped gear selector and controls ergonomically grouped by function — was another great accomplishment for Jaguar’s interior design team. Both are a very functional and welcoming driving environments.
“We set out to create interior environments that not only work well but create a sense of theater and occasion.” said Callum, not wanting to take all the credit for the area he oversees. “I am very proud of my team, having achieved this with such conviction and clarity in all of our current products.”
The fact that Callum — having been recognized in an area he has seldom worked in directly over his 35-year design career — has so graciously put his team forward speaks to the Scottish designer’s altruistic attitude. Had the award been bestowed on another, shorter Italian designer working for a large German company he would have accepted the award and stated: “The F-Type is the most beautiful interior I have ever created…”
But Callum, who studied Industrial Design at Glasgow School of Art and honed his talent at the Royal College of Art before starting his design career at Ford, is not that ego-centric. He prefers to give credit where credit is due. And I’m certain his designers thank him for it.