That's less easy if you're, say, a car designer. “The design studio is a big workshop; it's a big collaborative workshop,” says Julian Thomson, Jaguar's director of design, who, like the rest of the organization, now finds himself working from home in the UK.
I asked Thomson if he thought the pandemic might leave its scars on future cars? “I think we're interested in how it's going to change people's attitudes.
We spoke with Thomson this week to see how that's affecting his 300-strong team, what legacy this pandemic might leave on the cars that get designed in the future, as well as what to look for in the recent F-Type design refresh and the forthcoming XJ electric sedan.
I was just watching something on TV last night, which had a scene set in Grand Central Station and two people going onto a train, just pushing past each other—it looks so alien to see people in a big crowded station or running around each other, you know, and it's amazing how quickly people's attitudes change.
Each new Jaguar design is the work of hundreds of people but needs to look as if it's a singular vision, not the product of a committee. “That's why we need to have such good communication and in such a close-knit team.
We never want to do tall cars—I don't think any designer actually wants to do tall cars, unless they're designing a Bronco or a Defender,” he said. "We're actually obsessed with the height of batteries and how we package the floor, and how we managed to keep the car reasonably close to the ground.
But advances in headlights gave the designers more freedom to hone the sportiest cat's face. "So, with the technology afforded by the new lamps, we were able to do these much slimmer pixel LEDs,” he explained. “It basically has the effect of making the bonnet look longer, because your eye doesn't read a lamp going up the fender.
A couple of months later, he and the rest of the company's designers moved into a new design studio in Gaydon, England, a 130,000 square foot (12,000m2) space with state-of-the-art CNC clay modeling equipment, VR caves, and a 36-foot (11m) 4K display wall. “A whole new studio was built around a very collaborative communicative space.
Julian Thomson, the automaker's director of design, shares his predictions for what drivers can look forward to. https://t.co/f6JzCyGdj0— WIREDTransport (@WIREDTransport) April 30, 2020