Interview with Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Daimler AG.
A comprehensive design approach.
Which department do you head?
Since mid-2008 I have headed the internationally active design department at Daimler AG. Our design studios are in various worldwide locations. The headquarter is in Sindelfingen, where the creative impulses come together.
What are its main functions?
We design all the company’s brands and products, and therefore everything perceived by the customer – from the vehicle models to the all-embracing corporate design for all the group’s brands. In doing so we follow a comprehensive design approach. This is implemented to perfection by the interaction between the different design disciplines.
“I have always been design-minded.”
How does your typical working day look like?
There is never a typical day, each day is different, and that is the exciting aspect of my work. I travel a lot, often to one of the Advanced Design Studios. This constantly exposes me to new impressions and experiences which make their way into my idea of good design. When I am actually in the office, it is like a visit by a hospital consultant. I tour the studios, make a diagnosis and see how the design work is progressing. In the evenings I occasionally like to put the draft designs together and discuss them with my team. This always leads to good results and decisions.
Where does your enthusiasm for design come from?
I have always been design-minded, wanting to draw cars. Even as a schoolboy I used to draw car designs on the desks.
“The environment influences creative thinking.”
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I think that the environment definitely influences creative thinking – I not only get inspired on my travels, but also by elements in day-to-day environments such as the forms of nature, architecture, art, fashion or good product design from outside the automobile industry.
© Michael Dannenmann/Daimler
What do you like doing in your leisure time?
I really enjoy painting when I have the time. But most of all I like to spend my free time with my family.
Who or what would you have liked to be?
Exactly who I am.