In the spotlight.
Exterior designer Stefan Handt on light design.
Expressive yet low-key.
The luminous design idiom of tomorrow is created in Sindelfingen's design centre, or in Stefan Handt's office to be more exact. When asked about the importance of headlamp design at Mercedes Benz, he does not hesitate for long: "A well-designed headlamp must have a special expression, it requires a certain gesture. However I also believe, that it must not be more important than the rest of the car".
Together with his team, the designer and head of Exterior undersign for Lights & Parts develops new light concepts and accompanies them from conception to realisation. In the process, the symbiosis of technology and design is gaining in importance.
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Design discussion: Tomorrow’s light
The fascination of mechanics.
The headlamps and rear lights which the designers design for Mercedes Benz are an important element of the car's facial expression. This is what provides the appearance typical of the brand and emphasises the character of the vehicle – beyond all the technical innovations. "In the meantime, all manufacturers can design good headlamps", explains Handt.
"That is why we want to move into the next phase and do something which will fascinate people more". The almost unlimited operating life, a colour similar to daylight and low power consumption speak in favour of LEDs. However the LED technology should be reflected in the design and should demonstrate its potential.
With the eyes of a predator.
The headlamps of the Concept Style Coupé unite a powerful design with the most modern technology: the red pupils in the front headlamps provide for an aggressive appearance. Just like the ever-alert, daunting eyes of a predator, they light up red in stand-by mode. The turn signals also have a distinctive feature: individual light areas sequentially illuminate, similar to a sequence of piano keys being pressed one after the other which thus creates a very special effect.
Lettering in the headlamps clearly reveals the birthplace of the Concept Style Coupé's eyes. The movable blades embody the complexity of the design which is characterised by mechanical components.
From inspiration to series.
As the Concept Style Coupé is a design study, the freedom of design is considerable. Here, Stefan Handt is inspired by science-fiction films or the mechanics of motor sport.
The design of the lights on the series production vehicle soon to be launched will also impressively emphasise the character of the car and the demand for top-quality details. With regard to design, the 45-year old designer faces clear challenges: "The rule-breaker is the rule-maker. In design, it is our task to know and push the boundaries". The next meeting is already due and the future of light design is waiting to be drafted. However, this is not the last time that Stefan Handt will take the time to talk about his passion for light design.