BMW Group has moved the U.S. headquarters of its design studio to Santa Monica, Calif. Designworks had been primarily based in Newbury Park, about an hour’s drive northwest, since 1988. It has further outposts in Munich and Shanghai.
The information comes because the innovation workplace for the automotive group celebrates the 50-year mark since Chuck Pelly based it as DesignworksUSA in 1972. Pelly’s consultancy turned a completely owned subsidiary of BMW in 1995. It designs issues for a lot of shoppers, together with a futuristic camper idea for North Face, enterprise class cabins for EVA Air and the livery of David Letterman’s new hybrid BMW race automotive.
Adrian Van Hooydonk, the design director of BMW Group, characterizes the transfer, which takes Designworks US sq. footage down from 70,000 sq. ft to 16,000 sq. ft within the new house, as a response to the calls for of immediately’s work-life stability.
“Why go on the 101 at a certain time?” he says throughout a latest tour of the workplace constructing, referencing LA’s infamous freeway visitors. “We’re not going to force people to do that. But I believe that with all the stuff we put in here — and coming out of the whole Covid home-office period of roughly three years — I think people will want to get together here.”
Opened Monday, Designworks’s 65 staff might be inspired to make use of the studio no less than three days per week, a spokesperson confirms.
The new house incorporates minimalistic Scandinavian-style furnishings with heat wooden tones, oranges and chocolate browns. It sports activities the hallmarks of hybrid workplace life: small cubicles, group tables, and particular person work stations that can be utilized as standing or sitting desks. Such furnishings as modular sofas, black marble tables and tall bar stools come from Muuro and Knoll.
What the brand new Designworks’s workplace doesn’t have is staging for the big clay fashions historically utilized in automotive design, which helps explains the unconventional downsizing. Van Hooydonk says that setting apart a lot house for clay modeling is not needed.
“Basically, our design work is done in the computer,” he says. “If we want something milled, we can do that with outside companies. The space is still just large enough to put a car model in and to look at that if you want to do a check. But the ways of working that we have now are far more connected with Munich. Far more digital. We felt that the footprint of the studio needed to reflect that.”
News of the transfer follows a number of vital bulletins in latest weeks from the Munich-based automaker.
On Oct. 15, BMW introduced it might transfer manufacturing of its electrical MINIs from the UK to China, citing manufacturing line inefficiencies. It additionally mentioned it might make investments an extra $1.7 billion in its South Carolina services to construct six new EV fashions by 2030.
Designworks is not going to be open to the general public, though some occasions might be accessible to non-employees, a spokesperson says.