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At the Advanced Design Studios, Mercedes-Benz
tracks down the trends of the future.

125 years of
visionary
design.

The automobile designers at Mercedes-Benz are already living in the future. They envision tomorrow's world every day, designing automobiles which will not actually grace the roads for years or even decades to come. For the coming generation of series production models, the creative staff look seven or ten years ahead. 

The designers at the five Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studios travel even further into the future, thinking three or more decades down the road. Future mobility is a leitmotif common to all strands of the design process which involves pursuing the ongoing development of the Mercedes-Benz 

design idiom and defining trends with new design ideas to keep a Mercedes looking fresh, aesthetic and stylish in the future, without denying its roots and brand identity. For these designers, the future has long begun.

In the footsteps of Gianni Versace.

The first Advanced Design Studio abroad went into operation in California in June 1990. Today, designers and modellers in Carlsbad apply themselves to evolving concepts

for the exteriors of tomorrow's vehicles at premises covering around 1200 square metres. A regular exchange of ideas and creative personnel takes place between the centre and its sister studios in Tokyo and Sindelfingen.

The fourth studio in Como (Italy) is concerned exclusively with the interiors of future vehicles. The Villa Salazar close to the shore of Lake Como was formerly used by fashion genius Gianni Versace for the production of ties and bow-ties. The latest Advanced Design Studio is located in Beijing.

 
We track down trends
rather than chasing after fads.

Professor Dr. h.c. Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Mercedes-Benz, is responsible for all the studios. In addition to the team of around 440 designers who are concerned with the design of production vehicles, more than 60 designers are devoted to evolving the concepts which project Mercedes-Benz up to half a century into the future.

Gorden Wagener, head of design at Mercedes-Benz.

 
 
 
 
 
 

"Rather than chasing after fads, we seek to track down long-term trends which will enhance the value of our brand over decades," says Wagener. "Ideas which meet the highest standards in terms of technology, performance, comfort and safety." According to Wagener, a designer thus needs to "live in the future", thinking at least two to three generations of vehicle ahead. As such, he explains, the Advanced Design Studios provide creative environments in which the designers are able to indulge their imaginations, free of the constraints of series production considerations. 

"The nice thing about design is that you are able to see what you are doing. First the model, then the vehicle appearing in large numbers on the roads. Actually being able to then drive the car is always a very special moment. That's the special thing about our sector, and therefore also about working at Mercedes-Benz," explains Wagener.

Global design from Como to Tokyo.

The creative staff in Como soak up regional influences in evolving ideas for the interiors of new vehicles. This famous triangle between the cities of Como, Milan and Turin is home to the furniture and fashion industries. Traditional craftsmanship enjoys a very high standing here – an ideal environment for the Advanced Design Studio.

The same applies to the Asia region. Japan and China are both of great importance to Mercedes-Benz. In the design studios of Tokyo and Beijing, new trends are tracked down, refined and then incorporated into vehicle design. Tokyo in particular, as a megacity, is an important trendsetter for the topic of "downsizing" in the premium segment. The designers challenge fundamental questions, for example what "being mobile" may mean in the future.

New impulses from foreign climes.

Mercedes-Benz Design creates and evolves vehicle designs from the architecture phase to the series production process. The design remit also extends to creative development and the design of possible new model series and their variants for the Mercedes-Benz portfolio. 

 
 
 

Future mobility solutions and innovative show cars are also evolved, from the initial design study to the prototype suitable for driving, in close consultation with the areas of Research and Development.

We are all in fact artists, but at the same time we have to be half engineer too...

... explains Gorden Wagener, commenting on the challenges faced by a car designer. In addition to actual vehicle design, the designers also carry out product design orders from exclusive premium manufacturers in areas such as transport, industrial design, lifestyle, and furniture under the Mercedes-Benz Style brand.

"Design creates connections across disciplines and sectors. Styling something is a creative process which comes to life as a result of new impulses. Our work under the "Mercedes-Benz Style" label also represents an inspiration for our automotive design work – and of course vice-versa".

"Design creates connections across disciplines and sectors.“
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Design in person


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