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      11-18-2009, 01:33 PM   #1
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Cool Chris Bangle's lecture on his design philosophy

I wasn't exactly a fan of Bangle's designs while he was at BMW but I respect the guy's vision and convictions that he shows in this lecture he gave at the Wolfsonian, a design museum. Interesting read.

Quote:
Lecture Time with Chris Bangle
Posted 11-16-2009 @
http://www.motobullet.com/news.php?id=10023

The cars are traditionally the stars. Rarely do in-house designers outshine their creations to the point that their names are legends throughout the greater automotive community. Chris Bangle is in that exclusive fraternity. Not since Bill Mitchell at GM in the 60s and 70s has one person had so much power and influence over all the designs of a car company.


Bangle’s radical pen strokes at the traditionally conservative BMW made him one of the more controversial figures in automotive design. He was able to provide some insight into his creative purpose during a speech at a fundraiser for the Wolfsonian Museum of the Florida International University in Miami. While we consider this intimate lecture a rare opportunity, this is neither a love letter nor an excuse to go Bangle bashing. Instead Bangle gives a personal glimpse at the art that helped create his dynasty.


Bangle joined the Wolfsonian for a weekend-long celebration of the car as rolling sculpture. While this idea has been used many times before, the Wolfsonian Museum provides the perfect backdrop to emphasize there is life in industrial design. Located in the art-deco nucleus that is Miami, the Wolfsonian specializes in showing there is personality in bricks, mortar, and metal.


While Bangle is an American, there is also a part of him that is distinctly European. His career included sketching for Opel and Fiat before a seventeen-year run heading BMW’s design. His defining car at BMW was arguably the 2002 7-Series. It was a major departure from the traditional style of a BMW. Where historically the cars were understated and sleek, the new 7-Series carried multiple angles that made the flagship sedan louder and more aggressive. The most distinctive feature was a rear truck lid that appears to be at odds with the rear fender. This styling cue became known in the automotive world as the “Bangle Butt” -- a term that may have started out as derogatory, but today Bangle utters it with affection.


It’s easy to understand why Bangle doesn’t see polarizing elements as design setbacks. He embraces unique vehicles that incorporate elements that go beyond simple function. Life and personality is what he is looking for in his designs. Bangle speaks with enough affection for unique car designs that finishing a car is like creating a child. He gives it unconditional love, flaws and all.

But Bangle admits that modern cars don’t just live in a vacuum of design, and they must adapt to the reality of the situation. For example, he explains the creation of the Bangle Butt as largely due to: “The reality of engines pushed the hood up 6 cm, and that caused a chain reaction all the way to the end of the car.” In the final product, even the compromises of reality don’t dilute the art of a well-designed car. Bangle believes that when love and passion go into a design, they breathe life and personality into that inanimate object, turning it into “the biggest sculpture ever.”


This life/art balance is where Bangle feels most at home, and his comfort has led to exploring new boundaries. He made the Gina concept car out of fabric so the body could contour instantly to new shapes, including creating a winking feature for the headlights. He has also utilized paper origami to incorporate into sheet metal car bodies.


Even with a better understanding of how Bangle views the automotive world, a large question remains. How did he go from designing the Fiat Coupe (which is widely considered to have understated flowing beauty) to the fourth generation BMW 7-Series? The answer was simple to Bangle: “Fiat wanted a Chris Bangle car.” He continued to explain that BMW wanted him to design a revolution that was distinctly BMW. The result was absolutely successful in ushering a new era of design that is very much seen as Chris Bangle’s BMW. It is somewhat ironic that the vehicles that were supposed to encompass a brand identity became the legacy of their designer.


Regardless of the varying opinions of Bangle’s design, he is a legend. He could quietly retire to his Italian farm, and his place in automotive history would be secure. But that’s not his style. Bangle openly admits that the allure of car design could easily draw him back into the business. That’s the mark of a true car guy.
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      11-18-2009, 02:04 PM   #2
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i was always a fan of this guys thinking
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      11-18-2009, 05:12 PM   #3
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I have said it time and time again. The Bangle Butt has been incorporated into several cars that are not BMWs. The Genesis sedan and the current S Class come to mind.
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      11-18-2009, 05:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenVert View Post
I have said it time and time again. The Bangle Butt has been incorporated into several cars that are not BMWs. The Genesis sedan and the current S Class come to mind.
Still... 2 or 3 wrongs don't make a right.
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      11-18-2009, 05:39 PM   #5
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Chris Bangle's design cues can still be seen in BMW's coming out right now and it will have an impact for the next few generations also mainly due to his experience, cars released under his supervision and his time spent at BMW.
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      11-18-2009, 05:42 PM   #6
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Watch BMWs get boring since Bangle is gone.

Like the new 7, WTF is so special about it? The new 5GT, not even remotely exciting.

When the Bangle butt 7 came out, tons of people talked about it, good and bad. When the 5 was released with the flame surface, a lot of people hated it, lots of people loved it. But there was something there... innovation and change. They were different cars, they were special cars, nothing on the road looked like them. Fast forward to the current 7... its a German LS460.

I want Bangle back. Flame away.


With boring designs and rising prices, i wouldnt hesitate leaving BMW for another brand. Thats coming from a 5 time 3 series owner and 3 time M3 owner.
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      11-18-2009, 05:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenVert View Post
I have said it time and time again. The Bangle Butt has been incorporated into several cars that are not BMWs. The Genesis sedan and the current S Class come to mind.
don't forget the Camry
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      11-18-2009, 05:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3XTR3M3 View Post
Watch BMWs get boring since Bangle is gone.

Like the new 7, WTF is so special about it? The new 5GT, not even remotely exciting.
+1
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      11-18-2009, 06:05 PM   #9
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It was on the 7 series before the S class, however it was on the Maybach concept before the 7 series or 6 series. Since the design of the S class was based off of the Maybach, technically Mercedes Benz had the bangle but before BMW did.
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      11-18-2009, 06:07 PM   #10
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I was never a Bangle basher, but sincerely miss his work (or atleast oversight).

The new 7 has not grown on me, and I fear the next gen 3 is going to be ugly as well...
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      11-18-2009, 06:30 PM   #11
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I dont care what people say to me. I like the old Z4 a lot more than the new one.

The new 5er will be boring as sin, the new 1er spy shots just realeased look ugly.

Bangle must return.
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      11-18-2009, 06:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3XTR3M3 View Post
Watch BMWs get boring since Bangle is gone.

Like the new 7, WTF is so special about it? The new 5GT, not even remotely exciting.

When the Bangle butt 7 came out, tons of people talked about it, good and bad. When the 5 was released with the flame surface, a lot of people hated it, lots of people loved it. But there was something there... innovation and change. They were different cars, they were special cars, nothing on the road looked like them. Fast forward to the current 7... its a German LS460.

I want Bangle back. Flame away.


With boring designs and rising prices, i wouldnt hesitate leaving BMW for another brand. Thats coming from a 5 time 3 series owner and 3 time M3 owner.
+1

Totally agree with you!!! The new BMWs are becoming UGLY and POINTLESS.
The current Benz S even has a unique design where the new 7 looks SO MUCH LIKE Lexus LS!
This really pisses me off because I have been so proud of special BMW design.

For the BMW 5GT..WTF is that?? How could you cancel the beautiful Concept CS for these WTF GTs???

I just miss Bangle and hate the upcoming BMWs (including the new Z4)...
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      11-18-2009, 06:41 PM   #13
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well how much of a hand did bangle have on the e46 m3? greatest looking car ever (and not because i had one) imho

i also thank bangle for the 1 series. it's just so damn unique and interesting to look at with its odd proportions and lines--kinda funky, but when you add it all together it's fantastic looking.
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      11-18-2009, 07:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3XTR3M3 View Post
Watch BMWs get boring since Bangle is gone.

Like the new 7, WTF is so special about it? The new 5GT, not even remotely exciting.

When the Bangle butt 7 came out, tons of people talked about it, good and bad. When the 5 was released with the flame surface, a lot of people hated it, lots of people loved it. But there was something there... innovation and change. They were different cars, they were special cars, nothing on the road looked like them. Fast forward to the current 7... its a German LS460.

I want Bangle back. Flame away.


With boring designs and rising prices, i wouldnt hesitate leaving BMW for another brand. Thats coming from a 5 time 3 series owner and 3 time M3 owner.


+1000000000,

5 series GT = Failure of epic proportions...if someone from the forum buys that go hang your self, 64.000 for that hideous looking car
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      11-18-2009, 08:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3XTR3M3 View Post
Watch BMWs get boring since Bangle is gone.

Like the new 7, WTF is so special about it? The new 5GT, not even remotely exciting.

When the Bangle butt 7 came out, tons of people talked about it, good and bad. When the 5 was released with the flame surface, a lot of people hated it, lots of people loved it. But there was something there... innovation and change. They were different cars, they were special cars, nothing on the road looked like them. Fast forward to the current 7... its a German LS460.

I want Bangle back. Flame away.


With boring designs and rising prices, i wouldnt hesitate leaving BMW for another brand. Thats coming from a 5 time 3 series owner and 3 time M3 owner.
I think so too, I think the best version so far of bangle design is the E92 M3/E90 M3. After all the trial and error and evolution of styling from 5er n 7er, they finally mature the design to almost perfection with the 3 series M cars. I really like bangle's designs
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      11-18-2009, 08:37 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stankia View Post
Bring Bangle Back!
+1 !!!!!!!!!!!!

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      11-18-2009, 08:45 PM   #17
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I want Bangle back!

...but only if he decides to make the trunks not look so stupid.
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      11-18-2009, 09:08 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juan.manjarres View Post
It was on the 7 series before the S class, however it was on the Maybach concept before the 7 series or 6 series. Since the design of the S class was based off of the Maybach, technically Mercedes Benz had the bangle but before BMW did.
it doesnt matter. its his design philosophy that changed the automotive world


and the new 7 only reminded me of an LS when it first came out. now i can spot a new 7 easily and not even think of an LS. there similarities are less than you think


they mentioned that Bangle might return, if he does, i can not see him designing for brands other than BMW
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      11-18-2009, 10:34 PM   #19
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How much do you suppose a guy like this gets paid?
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      11-18-2009, 10:42 PM   #20
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I believe the z4m coupe is a bangle design, so he is 100% relieved from any wrong doing.
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      11-18-2009, 11:01 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCMLXXXIX View Post
i was always a fan of this guys thinking
+1

...it's also interesting to note that now Toyota, Honda, have all copied what Chris Bangle has done. I'm more irritated that they (other manufactures) don't give him his due proppers for what he's done for the industry. If the "bangle butt" was so ugly it's funny how everyone else tried to make their cars have a variation of the same theme which is quite evident.
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      11-18-2009, 11:03 PM   #22
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yea i agree with all. The car that rolled out while he worked there were great. These new cars like the 7 and 5 series look the same and are boring.
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