Car design depends on teamwork, in sharp contrast to the social distancing the coronavirus pandemic has imposed. How does smart working change creative activity? What consequences will it have on the form of tomorrow’s cars? Auto&Design has asked these questions of carmaker design chiefs and independent style centres. The vision of Klaus Busse, head of Fca design for Europe.
How has your way of working changed during this period of closure?
The first few weeks were logically the most complex because we had to make sure that all the people were well and organize all our work in depth to stay operational anyway. After this phase I was incredibly surprised at how well things were going and everything was smooth. We had several meetings in which we were constantly discussing projects. We were immediately in tune with these media and take full advantage of them.
However, I really miss body language, which is very important to me and is not completely visible on a webcam. When we do brainstorming sessions where there are different ideas to evaluate I also need this language that is missing at this stage.
Do you think that this period will have an influence on car design?
If we are talking about physical forms and lines I do not believe that this pandemic will have a direct effect on them. However, I do think that in terms of creativity and design, this period could have an influence and it will certainly be a phenomenon that needs to be carefully analysed. The pandemic has forced us to stop and think a little more about ourselves, as designers, as a team. I believe that a crisis of any kind can turn into an opportunity for the creative community: we have the task of proposing innovative solutions that can sometimes become answers. When the pandemic started we organized virtual meetings with the studio in China to better understand the situation since they were a few weeks ahead of us. Today we are also constantly talking to the United States and trying to hypothesize what new needs this virus will bring.