Jan 9th 2017 by Alfonso_Albaisa • 8 Questions • 184 Points
Hi, everyone! I’m Alfonso Albaisa, and I design cars for INFINITI. I’m here at the Detroit Auto Show where we just unveiled the new QX50 Concept, and I’m here to answer any questions you have about cars and design. Feel free to ask me anything!
EDIT: Updated - My proof
EDIT 2: We're wrapping up. Thank you again for all your questions!
Where do you get your inspiration for design from?
What is the first thing you look at when designing a new car?
That's a great question! It seems like a basic question, but it's always a difficult one to answer no matter how many times I try. It happens out of so many different places. I'm extremely lucky that I have four global studios, so I have one in Beijing, I have one in So Cal, I have one in London, and of course one in Japan. So culturally they're so different, so what happens is when you're a guy from Miami working in Japan is that you can't trust language as communication, so things become very visual ... so I'm bombarded by stuff from the world constantly, daily, every hour. And fundamentally it inspires me. So short answer - my international team and their diverse opinions and personalities is an endless source for me.
Because we're a big company, we have product planning as a different group and they come to us with profiles of different people and show us the ambition of the customer in four years and how they want to live, and their life, and their history and where they're going, and it kind of jars you because as designers we live in our own little minds and little worlds, and we live in high security areas where we spend a lot of hours, so immediately we get this picture of a person, and then we start drawing and we start seeing sketches and bouncing ideas off each other globally. So we start inside and outside at the same time, what do we think is cool, what's the vibe happening globally that we like in other industries and we throw it all together into one big mess - there are so many drawings it's almost intimidating, even after 30 years...so this kind of early reduction of great ideas is very painful, it's a lot like salmon swimming upstream and so many are lost- that's how it is in the early phases of the drawings. Then we migrate into models, and eventually one comes out of a factory years later. One salmon makes it!