I’ve known Sam Livingstone for a number of years — 15 to be exact. Over that time span, I’ve been continually impressed by his perspectives on automotive design and his ability to dissect products and strategies. This is a skill set he’s procured over his many years as director of Car Design Research, a UK-based consultancy that works with many of the world’s largest car companies.
For this episode of FORMCAST I decided to record our conversation — which touches on a number of trends, from design in global markets, divergence and convergence — timecodes below if you want to skip around — to provide listeners with unparalleled insight into the current state and the future of mobility design.
We covered a lot of ground in this one and, thanks to Sam’s fascinating insight into the world of car design, our conversation turned into an erudite discussion on:
3:15 – What is Car Design Research?
6:20 – Clients programs and influence
8:40 – The drawbacks of consultancy
13:00 – The blurring of car design typologies
16:00 – International cultural consumption; regional infrastructures
18:50 – Chinese market informing others and missed opportunities
20:55 – Breaking from western-centric ideas to reinvent the car in China
26:30 – Designing for a usage scenario, not just the man
28:00 – New possibilities afforded by thinking of mobility as secondary
36:00 – The falsehood of brands reaching too far – unless it’s a Porsche pipe!
42:20 – Fractionally-owned cars enables more spending and new opportunities
46:30 – Personalization will be less individual and more about the fleet