as a competitive edge...

- Exploring the world of competitiveness and product design -inside and outside the automotive world- has long been an exciting exercise for Auto Business Review with unlimited potential.
- We have organized three different design conferences and invited a number of acclaimed names with extensive experience in the product design field to tell their stories.
- The verdict is clear and definitive: design can decisively enhance products’ aesthetics, help strategists build corporate identity, create value and elevate the firm above competition.

Automotive design: the summit of product design

The relevance of product design to the automotive world is like the modern equivalent of the mythical quest for the Holy Grail. Automotive design is synonymous to design, perhaps the most sought-after direction. It is the epitome of product design -in that an automobile is an extremely complex product that requires many different levels of design skills for its completion, ranging from aesthetics and safety all the way to regulations, aerodynamics and functionality.

As Andreas Zapatinas, a freelance product designer who headed the car studios of Alfa Romeo, BMW, Fiat and Subaru, explained: "An automotive designer can handle many different product design projects -from boats and elevators all the way to door handles and furniture. Unfortunately, a designer of jewellery can not design a car that easily"

With this in mind, Auto Business Review invited Andreas Zapatinas and Rodanthi Sendouka, creator of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games emblem, to describe their experiences and illustrate the role of design as a competitive tool.

Two events were organised at Daios Luxury Living and Hyatt Regency hotels in Thessaloniki, Greece, with the cooperation of Auto Business Review and the Federation of Industries of Northern Greece. The unprecedented success of the two meetings and the warm response of attendees from diverse business sectors endorsed the importance of the theme “Competitiveness via Design”.

The third event was organized by Auto Business Review at NOESIS, the Science Center and Technology Museum, Thessaloniki, Greece. The panel of speakers included an illustrious list of names with international recognition:

  • Sotiris Kovos, Studio Kovos Design, Torino, Italy - Ex-Chief Exterior Designer, Toyota Motor Corporation - Creator of the original Toyota Yaris
  • Pavlos Laskaris, former General Secretary of the Greek Association of Motor Vehicle Importers and Representatives (AMVIR)
  • George Liamadis, Polytechnic School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki [AUTH] - Designer of the "Aletis" prototype, a joint project of TWT Gmbh, ELVO and Pininfarina Studi & Ricerche S.P.A.
  • George Lymberakis, Managing Director of Trident Cars S.A., the Greek importer of Lamborghini, Lotus and Maserati supercars
  • Andreas Zapatinas, Andreas Zapatinas Design, Milano, Italy - Former Design Manager at Alfa Romeo, BMW, FIAT and Fuji Heavy Industries (Subaru) - Creator of the Alfa Romeo 145 and Fiat Barchetta

✓ Click below to see the photographs and read the captions.


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