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Former Chief of Design, BMW

At A Glance
  • Develops designs for the BMW, MINI Cooper and Rolls-Royce as chief of design for the BMW Group
  • During his tenure, BMW became the global leader in premium car sales.
  • Owns an independent studio with global clients such as Samsung, Hennessy and Adidas
Former Chief of Design, BMW

One only needs to look down the street for evidence of Chris Bangle's ingenuity and far-reaching influence.

A daring designer whose work has provoked endless discussion, Chris is best known for his tenure as Chief of Design for the BMW group, where he was responsible for bringing the designs of the BMW, Mini Cooper, and Rolls Royce into the twenty-first century.

Graduating from the Art Center College of Design, Chris began his career at Opel, and then moved on to Fiat, where he designed the brazen Coupe Fiat. In 1992, he was named the first American Chief of Design at BMW.

No other designer has had such a far reaching impact in the automotive industry. His mandate to "strategize emotion" through design has energized the typically conservative brand, updating BMW's classic design with bold, sculptural lines, a far cry from homogenous car design. As a result, his daring designs have helped BMW become the global leader in premium car sales and brought in legions of new fans, spurning rivals to follow suit in emulating his distinctive style.

During his time at BMW, he introduced GINA, an experimental concept roadster that seeks to replace a vehicle's static metal or fiberglass skin with a one of fabric that can change the shape and aerodynamics of the car.

After pushing car design language to its limits for 28 years, Chris announced his departure on February 3, 2009 from the auto industry. Since then, he has been pursuing his own design-related endeavors from his studio in Italy working with global clients such as Samsung, Hennessy and Adidas. Chris has lectured all around the world and his studio continues to focus on new ideas and cutting edge innovation.

The New York Times called Bangle "arguably the best auto designer of his generation."
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