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Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Greetings, DVN readers. This week, we've really got something special for you: a totally exclusive interview with Audi's head of styling Stefan Sielaff. He explains how he strives to instill a whole car's design language into its lighting components, to underline and define the character of Audi cars. A brand signature realised or reinforced with lighting equipment is particularly striking and noticeable due to its night and day design (lights on and off), its colour and, increasingly, its depth and texture aspects; Sielaff is exceedingly adept at leveraging the power of lighting to underline its technical content and advertise, by extension, the technical sophistication of the car and its maker. Sielaff says this strategy has helped Audi become the innovation leader in lighting, and hints at great surprises in store for the future.

Don't miss the full interview! It summarises the common target at which all lighting players aim. In my view and experience, lighting has to be first and foremost about safety performance…but the future of lighting is about styling. I kindly suggest reading and rereading this week's interview after reading our previous interview with Volvo designer Malte Mößner. By absorbing, comparing, and pondering these lighting designers' approaches and philosophy, we all gain fresh perspective on our common goals and the many ways to meet them.

Sincerely yours

 

In depth...

Interview with Stefan Sielaff, head of Audi Design PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 18 August 2009
“Lighting reflects the soul of the car and underlines its character”.

Stefan Sielaff, 45, joined Audi AG in 1990, the year he obtained a master's degree in vehicle design from the Royal College of Art in London. He first worked on interiors at Ingolstadt. After working at Sitges, Spain, on the development of the European Design Centree, he was back to Munich to become head of Interior Design at Audi. In 2003, he joined DaimlerChrysler as design director of the Interior Competence Center of DaimlerChrysler in Sindelfingen. He was back to Audi few years later to be now head of Design. Driving Vision News asked him a few questions.

Driving Vision News: It is difficult to characterise a brand. What words best define what you want an Audi car to be?
Stefan Sielaff
: elegant, dynamic, high-class - Audi design is best defined with these core values. Our vision is based on these three words – this is how we want to create icons for tomorrow.

DVN: Perceived quality, design lines, and surface perfection are prime concerns for you. With respect to those aspects, how do front and rear lamps contribute and integrate?
S.S.:
A human’s eyes are the mirror to his soul – this is a well-known saying. And it fits perfectly to our cars. Our lighting speaks the same language compared to the rest of the design; it reflects the soul of the car and underlines its character.

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