Profiles of Top Designers

We can all instantly recognise many of the famous brands, logos, and products that we come into contact with in one way or another in our daily lives. However, chances are you might not have any idea about the people behind these iconic designs and below we will look at some of these pioneering individuals.

Philippe Starck

Phillipe Starck is a well-known contemporary designer including architecture, product design and interior designing. He was born in Paris and is thought to have been mostly inspired by his aircraft-designing father. He has his hand in a lot of different designs in various fields and some of his more famous designs include the Juicy Salif lemon squeezer, Steve Job’s yacht and the Free box Revolution. His known for using a combination of unusual materials with an organic look.

Jonathan Ive

Jonathan Ive is a British designer and works as Chief Design Officer at Apple. Experts say his designs have revolutionised technological sphere, setting a new artistic standard for personal devices. Ive leads Apple’s design team and has done so since 1996. He is responsible for the company’s more significant and iconic product designs including the Macbook Pro, iMac, Macbook Air, iPod, iPod Touch, iPad, iPad Mini and iOS 7. He works in a very secretive laboratory within Apple and only a close-knit, selective design team is allowed inside. Ive also received a knighthood in the UK in recognition of his achievement as a revolutionary designer.

Dieter Rams

Dieter Rams is a German designer who trained as architect. He is closely linked to the electrical products manufacturer Braun. Initially recruited to modernise the interior of the offices, he soon became involved in product design and was later appointed as head of design. During his time at Braun he designed various recognizable products, ranging from calculators to record players and even storage systems. Many designers follow his 10 principles of good design which came as a result of a question he once asked himself, “Is my design a good design?” Despite Dieter’s designs looking old fashioned by modern standards, his principles still serve as a helpful guideline.

Giorgetto Giugiaro

The Italian automobile designer is universally regarded as one the most creative and innovative car designers and was recognised as car designer of the 20th century. His work ranges from super cars like Ferrari to more everyday cars like Renault and SEAT. Many of the car designs we see today is in some shape or form a variation of one Giugiaro’s designs or at a minimum inspired by it. He founded the design company Italdesign, which is dedicated to providing a variety of services in the development of new cars and products. Apart from cars, his earlier work included designs for Nikon and Apple.

Marc Newson

Another versatile designer, Marc Newson works across a range of areas from sculptures to bicycles and even commercial aircraft. He has received various awards and was also included in Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. A lot of his work is related to airport and aeroplane design and among others he designed the first class Qantas lounges in Melbourne and Sydney and also the Qantas premium economy seat.

Design in Formula 1

Motor racing is all about speed, adrenaline and exotic locations. It’s a growing sport with Formula 1 enjoying the lion’s share when it comes to fans. If you look at the Monaco Grand Prix in particular, it’s easy to see why. It has all the above elements including one of the world’s best street circuits, which only adds to the rush. But have you ever stopped and wondered what part design plays in all the excitement?

The truth is a great deal of money is spent on design as regulators have an increasing amount of conditions these vehicles have to comply with before they can take part in any race. You only have to look at the evolution of motor racing in recent years to see the evidence. If you compare images of the cars from ten or twenty years ago to the modern day racing car, you’ll be forgiven for thinking they belong to a different sport.

One of the first things designers have to consider is the material being used to build the car. It has to be lightweight to improve performance and yet sturdy enough to protect the drivers from collisions at high speed. Currently carbon fibre seems to be the answer and is the material of choice when it comes to constructing formula one cars. Another design element to look at is of course the shape. The shape directly affects the aerodynamics that has two separate facets to it: downforce and drag. As Formula 1 cars can reach speeds of around 300 kph (190 mph) they have to be able to stick to the track and not lift-off like an aeroplane, especially in fast straights like the tunnel section of Monaco’s Grand Prix. The design of the familiar wings that you see on F1 cars keeps them grounded and improves cornering.

Drag is the second element and every single millimetre of the car’s surface has been designed with this in mind, including the driver’s helmet. The car’s performance can drastically be decreased by disrupted air (or drag) which creates turbulence and slows the cars down. Engineers therefore have to come up with advanced designs that improve airflow up and around the car. As mentioned before, there are strict rules imposed by the regulators these days so this has become increasingly difficult.

Apart from the performance of a car, the design also has an aesthetic purpose. Formula One is very much a spectator sport so the cars cannot slack in this area. There are many different kinds of fans that enjoy the sport and although the racing is the main attraction, a large number of spectators enjoy the look and architecture of a car equally as much. It’s a case of functionality versus elegance and designers can’t improve one area without considering the other.

It’s a dangerous and risky sport at the end of the day. Formula One has unfortunately seen some fatalities and live changing accidents in the past. Understandably safety has become a top priority with many of the racing car design modifications coming as a result of vulnerability issues. Apart from performance and looks, this is what designers spend most of their time being concerned with.

It is evident that F1 and design go hand in hand. Next time you see that engineering marvel skid around the corner, spare a thought for the designers who helped to make the sport what it is today!