As of September 2021, Geely Auto Group has appointed Stefan Sielaff as its new head of design. The German designer has more than 30 years of experience in the automotive design world and has spent recent stints at brands such as Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Bentley. Today, Sielaff, based in Gothenburg, Sweden, oversees design for Chinese Geely Group brands, including Geely Auto, Geometry, Lynk & Co and Zeekr.
How have you settled in and how different is life at Geely compared to where you were before?
I have settled in well in this new city. It’s only been six months, but we’ve accomplished so much and there’s still a lot to look forward to. The demand is always to work for a large group with multiple brands and I don’t see too many differences on this between Geely and my past experiences. The biggest divergence is the speed at which decisions are made, as well as the creative freedom. You see, our designs don’t have to be analyzed for too long, as everything is decided quickly, which also reduces the whole production process. For a designer, this is very fascinating and satisfying. Secondly is the incredible openness to having multicultural teams. I personally haven’t seen so many nationalities and such a young team in a long time.
What was it like to move from Germany to Sweden?
The move to Sweden was not difficult for me and my family. As a designer, it was almost a joy to have the opportunity to explore Scandinavian culture, which I find to be strongly design-oriented and rooted in high quality. Gothenburg itself is a wonderfully captivating city that has everything a designer needs. The thing that fascinates me most about Scandinavia is the design of its furniture. Since the 1920s, Swedish furniture design has always been unique, with an emphasis on material. More often than not, the material appears in its pure, unpainted form, reminding us of nature and revealing its originality and authenticity. They are always light and not heavy or baroque, and often presented in an almost minimalist language.