Posts with tag: ‘car design’

Interview with Dirk van Braeckel, Head of Design at Bentley Motors

I was lucky to speak with Mr. Dirk van Braeckel, Director of Design & Styling at Bentley Motors. Here's what he had to say about his job at Bentley, the tools he uses to do the fine work, and the future of the luxury automobile business.

Mr. Dirk van Braeckel began his automotive design work with Audi working on external design after graduating from the Royal College of Art in London in 1984. Then, in August 1999 (after Volkswagen purchased Bentley a year earlier from Vickers plc), van Braeckel joined the British based company Bentley as Director of Design & Styling. In 2008, van Braeckel was awarded the European Automotive Design Award by Designers.

Bentley Continental GTC

Lauri: Bentley has developed into a brand representing the ultimate in luxury and quality. How do you integrate that into each car designs?

Dirk: It is Bentley’s Ultimate Luxury and Quality that our designs have to communicate and a perception of Quality is fundamental to the way I design.

We design with authentic materials for the interior such as top quality leather, real metal, real natural wood, lamb’s wool carpets and so on. We also strive to use each material in a way that makes the most of its natural properties – wood for surfaces that should feel “warm” to the touch and so forth. Ultimately, we design the ambience of the environment you enter when you close the door of your Bentley. It requires a combination of aesthetic design and craftsmanship to deliver this.

For the exterior it is important to create a “Must Have” factor. The impression of relaxed power, build quality that is second to none, simplicity and character all create a desire to admire and own such a car as a Bentley. Its understatement and sportiness creates admiration rather than envy.

Lauri: How long was the process of design for the Bentley EXP 9 F (shown below)?

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