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JAGUAR MAGAZINE #07

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  • Arles
  • Gandy
  • Portland
  • Wang
  • Creativity
  • Jaguar
David Gandy and his XK120 charm London’s creative quarter | How charity In Place Of War channels creativity in conflict zones | Interior designer Joyce Wang shares the latest trends in luxury | Panasonic Jaguar Racing’s most successful year in Formula E | Meet Jaguar’s new design director Julian Thomson

Designer delights

Designer delights 1/Best-designed piece of tech you own? KTM motorcycles – I have the 1290 Super Adventure S and the EXC 200. They’re spirited and rebellious, and I like the designers’ single-mindedness. 2/Favourite artist? Peter Blake – his Sgt. Pepper album cover in particular. 3/Most influential piece of literature? Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle, who also wrote Bridge over the River Kwai. Both are about prejudice and repressing a nation of minorities. 4/Most admired fashion brand? Patagonia or Adidas. I’m interested in how brands behave, what they represent, collaboration and how they use technology. These are things we think about a lot when we do luxury cars as well. 5/Favourite restaurant? Il Re Gallo, in Castellina in Chianti, Italy. I’d order the wild boar pasta and the chicken with fresh truffes. Dream big The scale of Jaguar's new design centre (right) matches Thomson's ambitious plans Indeed, it is these factors and experience combined that put Thomson in the best position to steer Jaguar through the coming years. He is hugely enthusiastic but aware of the morphing landscape. “The world is changing very quickly and it’s time for the brand to re-examine itself,” he says. “There are a lot of new challenges in terms of things like electrification and automation, but customers are also changing. We have to keep the brand steady and on a strong trajectory while keeping a sense of relevance.” Adapting to new consumer expectations is crucial to his role as head of design. Sustainability is top of the agenda, spearheaded by the I-PACE’s launch in 2018, where the challenge was to create an electric vehicle that still felt ‘Jaguar’. “It was a great example of how we’re taking on a changing world and still making a luxury car,” he says. Automation also provides problems for a brand that has traditionally been centred on the exciting experience of driving. “Jaguar is all about spirited driving. Ultimately when cars have some degree of automation, does that mean you can’t have a worthwhile experience in the car? These are the sort of things we’re thinking about,” he says. There is also the rise of disruptive startups like Rivian and Nio, which have blended these challenges into their 48 / Jaguar Magazine

Design “Our original values of beauty, design, understatement and innovation still hold true today” proposition and brand values from the very outset, to consider. Thomson, however, is unperturbed. “They equate well with younger customers but we are a brand with a huge legacy that we are proud of,” he says. “When William Lyons set it up all those years ago, our values were about beauty, design, understatement and innovation. They still hold true in the modern world.” Undoubtedly, design is more important than ever to the brand. Thomson recalls when he first started out, having graduated from the Royal College of Art’s Vehicle Design course, that reputation and performance were the elements most car buyers cared about. The market leaders today are differentiated by design, and the industry is far more creative as a result, with careful attention paid to interiors, materials and interfaces that did not exist 20 years ago. The world-class new facilities are testament to that. The architecture has been designed around the clay model-making process, with the structure large enough to allow for 20 full-size clay models to be worked on simultaneously. There are two main studios within, Studio 3 and Studio 4, named after the the numbers of the Le Mans-winning Jaguar D-types of 1957 and 1956 respectively. A collaborative hub called the ‘Heart Space’ is at its centre, with interior, exterior, colour, materials, design visualisation and design technical teams positioned around it, alongside industry-leading robotics, VR equipment and an 11-metre 4K display wall known as ‘The Electric’. Models can easily be taken outside to be viewed in natural light and from a range of distances and angles. “We didn’t want to put film all over the windows,” Thomson says. “We want to be able to look outside and see the sky and trees.” Crucially, the 280-strong team is housed under one roof, which Thomson likens to a “convivial” airport terminal, with the designers, modellers and engineers all in close proximity to each other. “If a clay modeller has a problem or an idea, he can just call across to the designer, who can then call to the engineer,” he says. This also allows Thomson to be closely involved in the day-to-day design process: “Everyone is so close to each other, it gives me the opportunity to walk around, talk to people and look at things. It’s the best bit of my job.” Thomson’s ascendency to design director marks both a new chapter for Jaguar and a childhood aspiration fulfilled. He recalls drawing cars when he was just five or six years old. Decades later, what would he like his legacy at the brand to be? “I’d love to foster even more love for Jaguar. I want to create those heartstopping moments,” he says. “Ultimately, I want to inspire people.” J Jaguar Magazine / 49

 

JAGUAR

JAGUAR MAGAZINE #07

 

JAGUAR MAGAZINE celebrates creativity in all its forms, with exclusive features that inspire sensory excitement, from seductive design to cutting-edge technology.

The latest issue features a range of inspiring people: from Luke Jennings, creator of Villanelle, one of the most interesting television characters in recent times, to Marcus Du Sautoy, who ponders whether artificial intelligence is on the brink of becoming creative. Out on the road, we visit the US to explore the foodie heaven of Portland in a Jaguar I-PACE, take a Jaguar XE to the south of France to get a photographer’s viewpoint of the charming town of Arles, and much more.

The Library

JAGUAR MAGAZINE #07
THE JAGUAR #06
THE JAGUAR #05
THE JAGUAR #04
The JAGUAR #03
The Jaguar #02
THE JAGUAR #01
The Blockbuster Issue

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