How to be undeniably good. How to be like Chris Bangle.

The remarkable Chris Bangle (runs Chris Bangle Associates—formerly the BMW Group’s Head of Design from October of 1992 until February of 2009), is one of the designers I look up tochris

Why do I look up to Chris?  How much time do I have? Not much? Ok, in short: Because of his ongoing commitment to engage with people in a manner that they will value, and yes, perhaps even enjoy.

Chris recently delivered a thought provoking presentation at the CreativeMornings/London (see the video below). During the presentation, Chris talked about the empowerment potential of the design industry. And no, this is not about establishing a new set of rules. It is about a fundamental shift in culture – a reframing of the collective mindset and methods of designing.

In my opinion, Chris is driven by a benevolent purpose on a voyage to new shores.
He aims to infuse us with the spirit of innovation that is more inclusive, more democratic and thus more sustainable. And finally, he aims to remind us that design is not an attribute, but instead that design is fundamentally all about action.

Did I mention that while watching this presentation I felt a bit like the sailors who were reading the now famous Ernest Shackleton’s recruitment flyer? (A quick reminder: Shackleton led numerous expeditions to Antactica in the early twentieth century.) Here’s a copy:

Men wanted to Hazardous Journey.
Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful.
Honour and recognition in case of success.
_ _ _
I am in—how about you?

P.S. I had the pleasure of exchanging a few words with Chris on a number of occasions, and let me tell you: he is not only a world-renowned designer, but he’s also the kind of person you could swap stories with all day.