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BMW designer Schaffer to lead U.S. studio

Fri, 16 Oct 2009

Laurenz Schaffer, an 11-year veteran of BMW AG's design staff, will take charge of the automaker's studio in California on Dec. 1.

He will replace Verena Kloos, 48, as president of DesignworksUSA. Kloos, who has headed the Newbury Park studio since 2004, will be responsible for context design and advanced development at BMW's Munich studio.

Schaffer, 42, has led the Munich branch of DesignworksUSA since 2000. From 2003 to 2006, he also was in charge of BMW's lifestyle design group. He joined BMW in 1998.

Before that, he steered industrial design for Frogdesign GmbH in Altensteig, Germany, and worked on projects for Siemens, Sony, and Lufthansa. While at Frogdesign, Schaffer worked in the firm's San Francisco studio as a design and product development manager.

He has also been a free-lance product designer in Munich and Stuttgart. Schaffer got a degree in industrial design from Munich's Advanced Technical College and also attended Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich.

BMW acquired Designworks USA in 1995 after assigning work to the studio since the 1980s. In addition to the studios in California and Germany, the automaker also has a design center in Singapore.

By Diana T. Kurylko- Automotive News