DYPDC Centre for Automotive Research and Studies and Goethe-Institut recently organized an evening with two unique lectures. One was titled Forms of E-Mobility by Wolfgang Jonas, who is a Professor for “Designwissenschaft” at Braunschweig University of Art, Institute for Transportation Design, and the other was titled The POVER Car, which was conducted by Elmer Van Grondelle, Head, Advanced Automotive Design, Delft University of Technology.
The lectures were held at Max Mueller Center, Pune, at their lovely, open air lawn. There were close to 30 participants who attended the lecture and included people from both academia and industry. The lecture began at around 7 in the evening and went on till 9 pm, followed by beverages and dinner.
It was quite interesting to listen to both gentlemen as they had different styles of approach to their presentation. While Jonas’s lecture was thought-provoking, to the point and highly technical, Elmer’s was light, lively and filled with anecdotes. The audience loved the contrasting styles and were equally involved in both the presentations. Jonas focused on strategy, design and innovation, while Elmer spoke about the lack of Design Thinking in Western cars presently. He showed an example of a car sporting a rain sensor, which according to him lacked thinking and creativity. He also showed examples of styling errors in certain cars. Then, he made a small presentation about a car his students designed for India, which was an excellent example of being able to think outside boundaries (literally and figuratively speaking); being able to get away from our feature thinking and go back to the essence of motoring.
A little brief on the two gentlemen:
Wolfgang Jonas studied of naval architecture at the Technical University of Berlin. He has been a consulting engineer in the area of Computer Aided Design for companies of the automobile industry and the German standardization institute DIN. Since 1988 he has been teaching (CAD, industrial design, exhibitions) and research (system theory and design theory) at the University of the Arts Berlin and at the University of Wuppertal.
He is a visiting professor at the Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA, Université de Montréal, Canada, Keimyung University, Daegu, Korea, Aalborg University, Denmark.
His areas of interest are: Design theory as meta theory, design theory and design methods in a systemic perspective, systems thinking, scenario planning, research through design.
His numerous publications on theoretical and practical aspects of designing include: “Design – System – Theorie: Überlegungen zu einem systemtheoretischen Modell von Designtheorie” (1994), “Mind the gap! – on knowing and not-knowing in Design” (2004), “Positionen zur Designwissenschaft” (2010), also publications on the history of naval architecture in Nordfriesland (1990) and on the aesthetics of modern ships (1991).
Elmer D. van Grondelle has close to thirty years of experience in automotive design and the design of automotive design processes. He holds a B.A. from the Dutch Royal College of Art and a Design Management MBA from the University of Westminster. He has worked for companies like Ford, BMW, Lamborghini, Volkswagen, Toyota, Kymco and Hyundai. Currently Elmer freelances as a strategic automotive designer, and spends half of his time at Delft University of Technology, where he is the program manager for Advanced Automotive Design. Elmer teaches automotive design, strategy and design processes. His research involves the design of management models that frame and facilitate tacit knowledge in automotive design.