Car design is a ubiquitous but often overlooked art form. As chief of design for the BMW Group, Chris Bangle has overseen cars that have been seen the world over, including BMW 7 Series and the Z4 roadster.

Why you should listen

American designer Chris Bangle understands that it can be difficult to see a car in terms of Art with a capital A. As such, he separates his work into issues of "automobiles" (unemotional products, causing problems such as pollution and congestion) and "car-iness" (an expansion of the human, and ultimately a truly artistic expression). Satisfying the tensions between these problems -- and the tensions between engineers and designers -- is, for him, the essence of his work.

Offering radical forms and ideas, Bangle has been a polarizing figure within the industry; he has overseen all of the brands within the BMW family, including Mini and Rolls-Royce. In 2009, Bangle left BMW to pursue his own personal design interests and develop his consulting firm, Chris Bangle Associates.

What others say

“Bangle is arguably the most influential auto designer of his generation.” — Phil Patton, New York Times, February 20, 2006

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February 20, 2007

American designer Chris Bangle explains his philosophy that car design is an art form in its own right, with an entertaining — and ultimately moving — account of the BMW Group’s Deep Blue project, intended to create the SUV of the future.

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