Nissan’s Francois Farion on the Importance of Objects in Communicating Design Intention

It’s fairly obvious that objects are an important reference for designers seeking motivation to create. Nissan has therefore offered up a video with its senior manager for color and design strategy, Francois Farion, who explains how the company uses objects to communicate their design intention and to maintain it throughout the project.

“Projects are pretty long, so to keep the original idea is very important” says Farion, “so many things happen that you can lose the idea in your mind. It’s important to keep that.”

Farion goes on to explain how Nissan Design America’s Randy Rodriguez (whom we interviewed at Pebble Beach last year) used a sharp fin as a reference in the creation of the 370Z, how the no-gravity seats in the Nissan Altima were inspired by the Earth floating in the galaxy, and how his personal favorite, a bulldog with sunglasses, was inspiration for the design team that created the asymmetrical Cube.

It’s also fairly well known that former Nissan Design Europe designer Matt Weaver sought inspiration from a motorcycle tank when he created the center console for Qazana concept, which later saw production as the Juke.

Farion also notes that a windmill was used to influence the fluidity and advanced technologies of the Resonance concept that made its debut at the Detroit auto show last year, though project manager John Anthony Sahs and exterior designer Joel Baek didn’t mention this when we interviewed them.

While Farion concedes that Nissan designers often reference photographs for inspiration, the designers also use 3D objects, which he contends is unique to Nissan.


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