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[Herald Design Forum 2022] EVs provide opportunities for car design innovation, says Ian Callum

[Herald Design Forum 2022] EVs provide opportunities for car design innovation, says Ian Callum

Ian Callum CBE, Design Director at Callum. (callum)

Ian Callum, a British car designer who until recently led Jaguar Land Rover’s design team, believes electric vehicles offer designers more flexibility.

“Many electric cars still have a conventional appearance. But they don’t have to. Again, it’s up to the designers to create this difference. Being electric is not a barrier, but an opportunity, as long as the company’s management and directors allow this freedom,” Callum said in an email interview with The Korea Herald, ahead of his visit to Seoul for the Herald Design Forum 2022 that of starts on September 27.

“I don’t think there will be a specific style for electric cars. There is more flexibility and so the design is wide open. Designers should take advantage of this opportunity,” he said.

Callum, who has over 40 years of experience working with major automakers including Ford and Aston Martin, founded his own car and product design company Callum in 2019.

He said that starting a new business gave him the freedom of design creativity.

“If I were a painter I would continue painting, but my medium is too complicated and expensive to do alone, so I started a company, with like-minded colleagues, to give me the privilege of continuing to design and making products, from furniture to cars,” says Callum. “Creativity is my lifeline.”

With a focus on niche products from small volume manufacturers, Callum has worked on an eclectic mix of products, from furniture to motorcycles and cars. He also designed Annandale’s single malt Scotch Whiskey Callum 529 bottle.

Callum said such projects allow him to be a part of the entire process, from sketch to production.

“My philosophy will continue to be to create beautiful, simple objects that work well. So far I’ve focused on working with small startups or niche manufacturers and individual clients, though we’re always open to discuss collaborative projects. Ideally, we would eventually like to design our own car.

According to Callum, design is everything to car brands because it tells a story about what the brand is about.

“Beautiful design attracts attention and positive reactions. People generally want to be part of something expressive and design expresses the brand and its values. It also reflects the character of the people involved in making the product and the customers.”

Jaguar I-Pace (Callum)

Jaguar I-Pace (Callum)

As a designer of Jaguar I-Pace, he chose I-Pace and Porsche 911, although he did not design the model, as the best cars for car design.

“I-Pace has completely new proportions, which is a result of the electric platform and the freedom of package it gave”, adding that it also makes Jaguar’s F-Type and CX-75 among the finest production and concept cars finds.

“I’ve always been a fan of the Porsche 911. Each model evolves and each one is beautiful. Especially the latest 991 and 992 models are special. They have great surface details and beautiful proportions. The cars have a ‘totality’ designed by Michael Mauer, a very skilled designer,” he said.

Callum has no experience working with Korean brands, but he said he’s looking for the opportunity to design the “right solution” for customers like Kia.

Callum called auto designer Peter Schreyer, who designed Kia Soul, Stinger and Hyundai Nexo and Santa Fe and developed Hyundai’s brand-defining cascading grille, a close friend of his, and said he had created a design culture and philosophy for Hyundai and Kia.

“I’m sure it would be fascinating to work with a Korean manufacturer. After 40 years I am focused on projects that are fun.”

By Kim Da-sol ([email protected])

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