Villa d’Este is a premier event that draws a big designer crowd. One of those designers is Marcus Syring, who spoke to us about his new move to Rolls-Royce.
After a long career at Mini, Syring is set to become director of exterior design at Rolls-Royce, a position that’s been left vacant since Giles Taylor replaced Ian Cameron as Rolls-Royce design director in July last year.
According to Syring, his longstanding career within BMW has prepared him for the new role, where he’ll be tasked with not only the current product line but also forthcoming design vision for the luxury marque.
Born in Westphalia in northwest Germany, Syring joined BMW immediately following his studies in product design at the University of Wuppertal, first joining BMW Motorsport in 1991 before moving on to the design department of BMW Technik in 1997. He joined Mini as an exterior designer after BMW took ownership of the company in 2000 and was appointed head of exterior design at the company two years later.
Since then, Syring has been responsible for the Mini Coupe, Roadster and Clubman, yet he refers to the BMW Z3 Coupe as one of his career milestones. It’s easy to see why.
Syring’s view on design can be measured by its functional perspectives: physical technical function, an aesthetic function, and a symbolic function. He sees himself as a commissioned artist in the classical sense, yet his work clearly must also be able to meet various requirements.
Besides architecture, fashion and product and consumer design, Syring finds art a great source of inspiration – though the artistic movement or genres are by no means the decisive factor. What is important is that the piece is able to captivate the observer with an emotive appeal expressed through its wealth of contrasts.
He believes the works by architects Herzog & deMeuron are prime examples of this, as they are not confined by any notion of continually recurring formalism – rather, it is the very uniqueness of their edifices, tailored to their surroundings, purpose and client, that makes them stand out.
In his free time, he enjoys visiting museums, reading and listening to music ranging from Jamie Cullum to Paul Weller.
BMW has not yet announced Syring’s replacement at Mini.