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Los Angeles Auto Show 2005 Design Trends

Thu, 11 Nov 2004 How are changing consumer attitudes and preferences affecting automobile design? What are designers doing to create functional, stylish and fun vehicles in accordance with new regulations and technologies? These are some of the questions that five distinguished designers will discuss and debate during the panel discussion at the Los Angeles Auto Show on January 6. The presentation is part of the 'Design Los Angeles' automobile designers conference that will be held in conjunction with media days at the 2005 LA Auto Show.

As engineering and technology among manufacturers level out, automakers are looking increasingly toward differentiating their brands through distinctive design. And for most automakers, the cultural influences and lifestyle trends that surround their Southern California design studios play a significant role in shaping their future product lineup.

Geoff Wardle from Art Center College of Design will moderate the session. The panel is comprised of designers from Southern California studios whose diverse experience will provide journalists and fellow designers with engaging perspectives on the future of automobile design. The panelists are:
- Henrik Fisker, executive director, California Advanced Product Creation, Ford Motor Company
- Verena Kloos, president, BMW Group DesignworksUSA
- David Marek, chief designer and senior manager, Honda Research & Development
- Frank Nuovo, vice president and chief designer, Nokia Design
- Freeman Thomas, head of advance product design, Pacifica Design Center

"Designers have, in many instances, become the new face of their respective companies," explains Chuck Pelly, Design Los Angeles conference director and president of The Design Academy. "Once kept behind the veiled doors, they now wield powerful voices within the company and beyond."

Recognizing the global influence of Southern California as an automotive design center, the Los Angeles Auto Show adopted 'Design Los Angeles' as its theme for the 2005 show. The design theme is envisioned as the beginning of an ongoing program to establish automobile design as an integral part of the LA Auto Show. The designers conference is the first of its kind to be held at an auto show that provides designers with focused meetings, prominent speakers and discussion topics specifically geared toward automobile designers. Some of these sessions will be open to media.

Art Center College of Design, located in Pasadena, adds to the region's design influence, and is considered to be one of the leading transportation design schools in the world. The LA Auto Show will honor Art Center's achievements and help usher in its 75th year of educating tomorrow's designers with a reception for designers and invited guests on January 6. Many Art Center Transportation Design alumni are expected to attend.

Chuck Pelly and Joan Gregor of The Design Academy serve as Design LA conference directors, and are working with the auto show's Design Advisory Board in helping establish the framework for the design conference. The Design Advisory Board is comprised of:
- Chris Chapman, director of automotive design, BMW Group DesignworksUSA
- Kevin Hunter, vice president, Calty Design Research
- Derek Jenkins, chief designer, VW/Audi Design Center California
- David Marek, chief designer, Honda Research and Development
- Joel Piaskowski, chief designer, Hyundai & Kia Design and Technical Center
- Frank Saucedo, director of design, General Motors 5350 Industrial Concepts

Media days for the Los Angeles Auto Show are January 5-6. The show will be open to the public from January 7-16, 2005.