The outstanding Netflix documentary series Abstract: The Art of Design featured Stellantis Chief Design Officer Ralph Gilles and the 2017 Chrysler Portal Concept in an episode in it's first season that beautifully outlines the whole Automotive Design.
Watch it right now for free on YouTube by following the links below.
Exterior design is all about imagining and expressing the sculpture of a car’s design through sketches and renderings. That includes everything on the exterior of the car; it’s shape, it’s proportions and surfacing as well as the wheels, headlights and other details.
Interior design shapes and impacts everything that the driver and passengers can see and touch on the inside of the vehicle. Every knob, button, switch, seat and steering wheel starts out as a series of sketches from one of our creative designers.
In the Badging and Identity department, we bring the "emotion" of a vehicle to a visual representation utilizing symbols, icons and/or unique typography. The vehicle character, body lines and design elements work together, and have a certain DNA. Our goal is to capture that essence - yet differentiate each vehicles individual identity. Every vehicle is unique, but has its place within the brand lineup. We strive to find that place, but make the look cohesive across the entire brand.
Clay sculptors are the expert craftspeople who shape every visible surface on our cars by hand. They use tools and techniques that have been passed down by generations of artisans. They build smaller, scaled versions of new car designs as well as full-sized clay models that show exactly what the final sheetmetal will be.
Color And Materials design creates the right atmosphere both inside and out. Choosing the right paint colors, the correct softness of leather, the right stitching and carpeting for each and every part. Color and Materials designers draw inspiration from all over the world to make each of our vehicles as unique and beautiful as they can possibly be.
User Experience Designers imagine all of the ways that people might want to interact with our vehicles and design for all of the things that we need our vehicles to do. They create the digital environment for all of the screens in the vehicle and work to integrate other technologies like your phones, content streaming apps and smart home devices.
Digital Sculptors build and shape virtual 3D surfaces to create accurate design models of our cars in the computer. These models can be shared with engineering and our suppliers and are the key part in translating our design work to a finial, drivable vehicle. Digital sculpting allows us to quickly make updates, revisions and different versions of every car. Our visualization team also allows us to create unbelievable digital imagery and virtual reality models that bring our designs to life long before the cars get built.