In an interview with Core77, Julia de Bono, CEO of BMW Group's DesignworksUSA studio, delved into the transformative journey of automotive design and the pivotal role of sustainability, technology, and cultural shifts in shaping its future.

Sustainability: A Driving Force

Sustainability has become a paramount concern within the automotive industry. Consumers are increasingly demanding environmentally friendly vehicles, and governments are enforcing stringent emissions regulations. In response, designers are embracing innovative materials, such as recycled and bio-based plastics, and rethinking manufacturing processes to minimize environmental impact.

"Sustainability is no longer a trend," de Bono emphasized. "It is an absolute must in everything we do."

Technology: Revolutionizing the Driving Experience

Advancements in technology are profoundly altering the automotive experience. Electric powertrains, autonomous driving systems, and connected services are creating new opportunities for designers to reimagine vehicle interiors and exteriors.

"Technology is giving us the freedom to explore new forms and functions," de Bono explained. "We can now design vehicles that are more efficient, more convenient, and more enjoyable to use."

Cultural Shifts: Influencing Design Preferences

Cultural shifts are also influencing automotive design. The growing urbanization and diversification of the global population is leading to a demand for vehicles that are tailored to specific lifestyles and needs. Designers are responding by creating vehicles that are both functional and expressive.

"We're seeing a shift away from the traditional car as a status symbol," de Bono noted. "People are looking for vehicles that reflect their individuality and values."

The BMW Grille Timeline: A Case Study

De Bono also shared a fascinating timeline of the evolution of the BMW grille, illustrating how design has adapted to changing cultural and technological trends.

1933-1961: The Kidney Grille

The kidney grille was first introduced in 1933 on the BMW 303. Initially a necessity to accommodate the car's wide engine, it quickly became an iconic design element.

1962-1975: The "Shark Nose" Grille

In the 1960s, BMW introduced the "shark nose" grille, which featured a more angular and aggressive design. This reflected the company's shift towards performance-oriented vehicles.

1976-1992: The "Big Grille"

BMW expanded the size of its grille in the 1970s and 1980s, creating a more imposing presence on the road.

1993-2004: The "Three-Dimensional" Grille

The 1990s saw the introduction of the three-dimensional grille, which added depth and texture to the design.

2005-2019: The "Flared Nostril" Grille

BMW continued to enlarge its grille in the 2000s, giving it a more flared and aggressive appearance.

2020-Present: The "Luminous Grille"

The latest iteration of the BMW grille incorporates LED lighting, creating a striking and futuristic effect.


The automotive design landscape is undergoing a profound transformation driven by sustainability, technology, and cultural shifts. Designers are embracing innovative materials, reimagining vehicle interiors and exteriors, and catering to the evolving needs of the global population.

As Julia de Bono aptly summarized, "The future of automotive design is about creating vehicles that are not only beautiful but also nachhaltig, intelligent, and culturally relevant."

Top Mark for BMW Group Subsidiary American Business Magazine "Fast innovative bmw
BMW Group DesignworksUSA dezvoltă un concept inovativ de garaj cu
BMW Group DesignworksUSA together with its client Landscape Forms
Green Good Design Award for DesignworksUSA and Landscape Forms designworksusa bmw innovative company most forms award landscape green good group
Police cars Drones concept Futuristic cars bmw 2025 car designworksusa exploded pursuit drones dexigner gleich stern tuvie
110 ideas de BICICLETEROS mobiliario urbano disenos de unas bicicletero
bmw_190909_01 Outdoor furniture collections Furniture design Street
340 ideas de DISEÑO URBANO en 2022 diseño urbano disenos de unas urbano
Top Mark for BMW Group Subsidiary American Business Magazine "Fast innovative bmw
Bavaria Yachtbau BMW Designed Yachts Awarded autoevolution yacht bmw designer bavaria yachts designworksusa awarded designed strategy autoevolution article
Top Mark for BMW Group Subsidiary American Business Magazine "Fast innovative bmw
Elke Weisbarth Sustainability Experience Futurist Transformation elke
BMW Group DesignworksUSA Designs Thermaltake´s Level 10 M Computer
Green Good Design Award for DesignworksUSA and Landscape Forms
BMW DesignworksUSA have teamed up with Brazilian aircraft manufacturer
BMW DesignworksUSA opens design studio and lab in China Image Gallery
LoGlo Lighting. Designed by BMW Group DesignWorksUSA. Landscape
BMW Group DesignworksUSA SEED Concept Design Panel Car design
BMW DesignworksUSA to revise the BART in San Francisco BMWCoop bmw designworksusa bart fleet future create bay group area train cars transit designers revise francisco san rapid subsidiary public bmwcoop