A feel for design.
The Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Center in Como.
"Northern Italy is one of those regions of the world where design is all around you as part of everyday life, from fashion to the furniture industry. For our work it is very important that we allow ourselves to be inspired,“ says Michele Jauch Paganetti, head of the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Center in Como. Mercedes-Benz could hardly have found a better location for one of its five Advanced Design Centers than the historical Villa Salazar on the shores of Lake Como. Around here, design is in the air. You can pretty much breathe in creativity, it's a way of life in these parts. The close proximity to Milan – the fashion capital is less than an hour's drive away – inspires the creative minds and constantly spurs them on to think outside the box. That is very important, considering that the vehicle designs created here may not be realised for several decades.
Sources of inspiration.
Consequently, the designers in Como need to be visionary in their thinking and must always be prepared to explore new avenues, while at the same time never losing sight of the Mercedes-Benz brand. Designer Frederic Latino is well aware of the challenge: "It is our task to find out what the Mercedes-Benz interiors of the future might look like.“ The various industries around Como and Milan probably provide the most important influences, but they are certainly not the only sources of inspiration for the creative talent: the region, its people and their way of thinking, in short the whole attitude towards life around Lake Como stimulates the work at Villa Salazar. Here on Lake Como, the car interior of the future is taking shape. In times that are becoming increasingly frantic, the pioneers in Como aim to transform the interior of the Mercedes-Benz into an antidote to our hectic world.
Recognisable, clean and simple forms that don't distract and that produce a sense of tranquility and reassurance.
Just like Como, the locations of the other Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Centers in Tokyo (Japan), Carlsbad (USA) and Beijing (China) have been chosen very carefully. Mercedes-Benz is hoping that the specific local environments will provide significant stimuli for the creativity of its designers that end up leading to innovative designs. "By living here, we automatically absorb these influences; the rhythm of life, the people and their customs, things we eat, things we see, the colour of the sky. It's about the lifestyle and about the atmosphere,“ is how Frederic Latino, a designer for Mercedes-Benz in Como, sums up the idea behind the Advanced Design Centers. The sky above Como is different from that above Sindelfingen, and the horizon in Como is different from the one in Sindelfingen – at least from the point of view of a designer. However, the creative base is and has always been the Advanced Design Center in Sindelfingen.
All of the creative threads converge in Sindelfingen; this is where the ideas created by the different design centers are joined together. This is also where the sometimes futuristic designs find their way into Mercedes-Benz series models, be it an interior from Como, an exterior from Carlsbad or a completely new mobility concept from Tokyo or Beijing: in the home of Mercedes-Benz everything is combined under the watchful eye of chief designer Professor Gorden Wagener into the essence of the Mercedes brand. "We make no attempt to keep up with passing fads. Rather, we try to determine long-term trends that will enhance the value of our brand for decades to come.
Ideas that meet the highest standards in terms of technology, performance, comfort and safety,“ explains Wagener.