Cool Job Alert: Car Design!

We spoke with the three the female car designers responsible for creating the interior design of the Lincoln MKT Concept — Joann Jung (31), Amy Kim (26) and Jennifer Hewlett (27).

Joanne Jung What inspired you to go into car design?

Joanna Jung: Ever since I was a young girl I wanted to design beautiful living spaces. It wasn't until my mother, who is an artist as well, took me to Art Center while I was in high school that I decided to go into car design.

At the Art Center, I was exposed to the world of Transportation design, which quickly became my passion. To me, there are big similarities between architecture and cars as they both include designing spaces created for people. After attending classes at the Art Center I saw a huge opportunity because I realized there weren't many female designers in the car design industry. I knew I could bring something fresh to the table and offer something unique from a different background. Also, I just love cars! It's fascinating to design something that people could be so attached to and love so much, after all, everybody has their favorite cars. Cars can be very personal; I don't think people would be very attached to any other machine they purchase, such as a washing machine or refrigerator.

MC: What do you love the most about your profession?

JJ: Creating such a beautiful product everyday is a new opportunity and a new challenge. It takes more than just pretty drawings and creative ideas; it takes hard work with a team of people. In working with a team to produce products that people actually want to buy, I get to be apart of their lives. There is also the thrill of achievement and satisfaction when I see my ideas on the road.

MC: What differentiates women in the car design field?

JJ: Every woman I know has their own way of personalizing their space, whether it is a bathroom, a living room or even a walk-in closet; it reflects the individual's lifestyle, which is something modern women value these days. Women like to feel a certain quality when they enter their cars. The car has to have personality just like the driver. Women are more interested in car interiors where they actually interact with the surrounding colors, materials and texture, not to mention usable storage areas. To women it's not just about traveling from A to B, its part of a lifestyle they create everyday.

Amy Kim What inspired you to go into car design?

Amy Kim: My father's passion of motorcycles and cars inspired me. At first, I drew and painted cars only as a hobby. Once I discovered that you can actually design cars, there was no turning back. As a young student, the sculpture and scale of designing a car excited me.

MC: What do you love the most about your profession?

AK: I believe that designing cars is one of the most challenging design jobs, and for me the most rewarding experience. Designing is not just for aesthetics; functionality needs to be incorporated into the design. It involves designing in a large team and working with many factors such as budgets, law regulation and engineering. Seeing the production of a car that you helped design is like revealing a piece of artwork you have been working on for three years.

MC: What differentiates women in the car design field?

AK: I believe that women can offer a different point of view to that car industry. The car industry needs and wants designers that have diverse points of view and backgrounds. Most women love and appreciate cars for a different reason then men, and that opinion is truly appreciated in this industry.

Jennifer Hewlett What inspired you to go into car design?

Jennifer Hewlett: I went to school at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit and Car Design is the most prevalent major. I grew up in the Detroit Area where cars are a major influence on the economy so it seemed natural to know a lot about cars. To be honest I wasn't interested in cars while I attended school, I was interested more in Fine Arts. My first exposure to car design was a class that took a current production Focus and retimed the vehicle in unique color and materials. The vehicle featured hand made copper pull downs in the seats, which I had fabricated based on a pendent series I was working on. This experience led me to see how my creative process could relate to vehicles. After my college experience I saw an opportunity in car design to bring many materials together to work in harmony, and use my fine arts experience to enhance the details. The challenges were all new to me, and the Ford parent company offered me a chance to utilize many parts of my personality.

MC: What do you love the most about your profession?

JH: The balance between creativity and business is what I love most. I'm always working on something new, I never sit at my desk all day and I'm always interacting with team members in all facets of the business. I also get to have input in a product people spend a lot of time in. Cars are very significant to our culture and it excites me to be apart of that.

MC: What do you think differentiates you from others in the car design field?

JH: I think my background is very unique to car design. Being someone who is trained in fabricated products and works of art, I offer a very different perspective. I look deeply into the meaning of the materials that the passenger is interacting with and I pay very close attention to the construction of a part. The success of the shape is naturally intertwined with how well the part is processed.

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