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Space invaders

1 year ago

Writer:

David Twohig | Engineer

Date:

9 July 2021

Andrew Frankel is a naughty man. He recently whispered in my ear ‘C’mon, David. All these stories of designers and engineers working happily together is not what the punters want. They want to read about handbags at dawn, punch-ups over the clay models. Spill the beans, m’boy’.

He instantly conjured up the classic stereotypes in my brain: the black polo-neck-sweater-wearing designer with the over-complicated spectacles and a huge wristwatch, berating the comfortable-shoe-wearing engineer in his short-sleeved white button-down shirt, with the obligatory mechanical pencil tucked in the front pocket, for not ‘respecting THE VISION’.

Unfortunately for the stereotypers, most of the time relations between industrial designers and engineers are tediously harmonious – and the more successful the car, the more harmonious they are likely to have been. If the Chief Designer and Chief Vehicle Engineer really are at loggerheads, the resulting vehicle is likely to be so unresolved, not to mention commercially unviable, that it is unlikely to ever see the production line.

So, I am sorry to report that not all designers favour dark polo-necks, not all engineers wear Hush Puppies, and in general there is a mutual respect for each other’s chosen profession that leads to constructive creative tension, rather than bust-ups and fisticuffs in the design studio.

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