The Design Life

Design is a topic you never really stop thinking about. It follows you into your day to day life. Even down to choosing a bottle of water over another because its packaging is more aesthetically pleasing.

Designers sketch and study hard in the studio, reviewing the latest trends in order to stay one step ahead of the competition. Pointing out every minute flaw in someone else’s hard work, especially within designs we love. I know that nothing is perfect. There is always room for improvement and that’s actually part of the fun.

Within everything I do, I try to capture the essence of the project. The limitations placed by project briefs, funding or manufacturing makes the process very challenging. But without this I don’t believe it’s possible to push yourself to the limit. It’s easy to make a pretty car, but to make something incredible that also satisfies the scope of the project, restrictions and regulations is demanding. I have found that my best work has come from these pressures.

I have my design heroes, and like many, I study their work intensely. Bertone, Farina and Michelotti created timeless pieces, without the possibilities in manufacturing I have. Learning how they could express their concepts with greater limitations is essential.

This connection to the masters of design has effected the growth of my work and my design principles. My preference is elegance and simplicity. Of course I experiment with many techniques, so sometimes I find my designs are more radical. But that’s OK. Craziness is something to be embraced. Design allows for many different approaches to the same problem. I find this constant unpredictable development exciting. Design is always evolving and progressing.

I think we as designers are given an amazing opportunity. In many scenarios we are told to predict the future. Predict what the public will want. Even tell them what they want – as Henry Ford would suggest. We are an arrogant breed of people in this respect. Most of us want to be remembered, referenced and critiqued. I am no different to this. I need to be the best. But I want to learn along the way. I try to stay honest to who I am and what I like, while keeping the clients wishes at the centre of this. Combining the two. I will never design something that I am not willing to stand by.

I can’t wait for the next few years. There are so many ways the future can look and as an automotive designer I want to remain right in the thick of it.

Ross Compton