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The Designers Pt4 – Anne Asensio, Dassault Systemes

Mon, 02 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0700

Car Design News launched its first ever Car Design Review yearbook at the Geneva motor show, featuring the award-winning Production Car and Concept Car Designs of 2013.

If you're interested in buying a copy of the 160-page yearbook this interview appears in, alongside trend reports, bespoke car design infographics and a special feature on Marcello Gandini, our inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Car Design Review can be purchased here.

Name Anne Asensio
Role VP design & brand experience, Dassault Systemes (3DS)
Age, nationality 51, French
Location Vélizy-Villacoublay, France
Education CCS & Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Appliques

"When I see concepts like the Kia GT4 Stinger I realize OEMs know how to make beautiful cars. But how to connect cars in the city, to establish the car not just as a commodity but as a provider? If the car industry is not just reacting it will become a commodity very quickly. I've worked for Dassault Systemes for five years and back when I started, nobody got this. In 2013 everybody gets it.

"It's the beginning of the understanding that there's something beyond styling and design and the collaboration between design, engineering and technology. It's about a large ecosystem of people providing all the systems together, and Dassault Systemes is right there.

"We can enable any of those stakeholders to create industry-wide solutions. We work for the car industry to give them the best tools to get beyond beautiful cars, to cars that are smart and deliver beautiful benefits for citizens, whether they are living in the city or the middle of nowhere.

"That's what we call the 3D experience. It spreads from the creative world, with the imagination to see what's happening to engineering simulation and all the way to marketing and sales, how do you manage to sell and connect the car to the user?

"Future generations will get their cars directly through the internet, not the showroom, and the way they will use their car will include things like near-field technology to change their experience.

"We want new designers to have this kind of mindset. The younger generation don't have to worry too much, they just need to sell their talents as designers as they have that digital background. Solutions designed by engineers are going away, to be replaced by a more application, user-friendly design. We have a new type of car designer that is not focused on delivering beautiful skin, they are after experiences and are eager to participate with the car industry.

"Your sister magazine, Interior Motives, has transformed the way people perceive interiors. When I started, before Interior Motives started, being an interior designer meant being a second-class citizen. But today they are the same. People focus on them as much as the exterior. The next generation will combine this with ‘the experience' too.

"That's why my favourite car of 2013 - out of both concept and production contenders - is the BMW i3. This car, as a proposition, is basically a concept that people can now buy. BMW took very seriously the need to create a lightweight and connected experience.

"It is a controversial car, BMW could have picked a quieter design and it would still have been a success as there is so much innovation on the service and experience side, but they decided also to set up a new brand, it's so consistent and very smart from BMW. I love the interior, the wood on the glovebox, and I was surprised when you closed the doors that there is no B-pillar, and how good the front and rear space is.

"This car is not for the regular BMW driver, it's for a completely new audience. BMW has taken a risk, and just for that - knowing how people sometimes can be risk averse - in my view, this is really great."

Anne's top cars of 2013


1. Citroen Cactus
2. Opel Monza
3. Renault Espace Paris

"I think it's a nice intent to do a car that could be interesting in the low-end market when most of the time these cars are just apologies for not being nice!"


1. BMW i3
2. Jaguar F-Type
3. Alfa Romeo 4C

"This car, as a proposition, is basically a concept that people can now buy"

< The Designers Pt3
Gert Hildebrand, Qoros

By Guy Bird