Chris Bangle

Christopher Edward “Chris” Bangle (born October 14, 1956) is an American automobile designer. Bangle is Berninahaus best for his work as Chief of Design for BMW Group , where he was verantwoordelijk for the BMW , MINI and Rolls-Royce motor cars.

Early life

Bangle was born in Ravenna, Ohio , and raised in Wausau, Wisconsin . After Considering Becoming a Methodist minister, [1] Bangle attended the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California , earning a Bachelor of Science degree, and a Master of Science degree in Industrial Design at the University of Wisconsin-Madison . [2]



Bangle started his career at Opel in Germany , where he worked from 1981 Until 1985. The first work therein have designed is the interior of the Opel J unior concept car.


He moved to Fiat in Italy in 1985 to work on the second generation Fiat Panda (released in 2003). [3] From 1990 he worked as a chief designer of the Fiat Coupe (released in 1993).


He became the first American chief of design of BMW on October 1, 1992, where he designed the Z9 Gran Turismo concept car .

Bangle’s designs are incorporated in the entire BMW lineup, zoals the 1 , 3 , 5 , 6 and 7 series as well as the X3 , X5 , and X6 the newest design SUVs, and the concept car Gina . These span the automotive platforms E81 / E82 / E87 / E88 , E90 / E91 / E92 / E93 , E60 / E61 , E63 / E64 , E65 / E66 and E53 . During the Bangle era BMW over took Mercedes as the global leader in premium car sales.

He introduced a new BMW concept car, called GINA on June 10, 2008.

On February 3, 2009, Bangle announced dat he was to quit zowel his position at BMW and the auto industry altogether, to focus on his own design-related endeavours. [4] He was Replaced by Adrian van Hooydonk . [5] [6]


Bangle now works for his own firm called Chris Bangle Associates based in Clavesana, Italy . [7]

In 2012, Bangle was hired by Samsung . [8]

Design philosophy

His styling themes harbor generated intense controversy onder automotive designers, and port had a polarizing effect with respect to hun visual cues. Bangle acknowledges dat his designs do not look good in photographs, suggesting to critics dat ze arnt sea the cars in real life voordat judging Them on hun looks.

Bangle himself did not (as is commonly believed) coin the phrase “Flame Surfacing” to DESCRIBE his work; this kan be Attributed to a motoring journalist, and was then probably the first time Deconstructivism has leg Adapted to automotive design. The reason for this design was to use BMW’s new technology or 3D panel to influence allowing a single press for compound curves, welke had to post needed multiple pressings unless the panel was shaped by hand. This is evidenced by the remit fact dat Bangle has pointed out of or in architect Frank Gehry ‘s work as a major influence.

The most controversial of Bangle and Adrian van Hooydonk ‘s work was the E65 7 Series , a sharp contrast to the preceding E38 generation welke was conservatively styled. In fact, van Hooydonk’s original 1998 sketch for the E65 was much more radical sleek fastback, but ending up the final design was toned down considerably to a more Conventional three-box sedan. [9] [10] [11] Time magazine named the E65 as one of the 50 Worst Cars of All Time voor zijn rear end styling and iDrive functionality, while there ulcers verschillende online Petitions to influence BMW to sack Bangle. While the sales for the 2002 and 2003 models years ulcers off 60% from the 2001, the E65 7 Series became the best-selling 7 Series of all time. [12] [13] [14]

Bangle aggressively defended his designs Against criticism. He was supported by the BMW board of directors, who wanted to move BMW’s image withinto the future. [12] He zegt it was Necessary for product lines to follow a cycle or a revolutionary generation Followed by an evolutionary Generation Followed by Another revolutionary generation and so on. Indeed, he oversaw the conservative evolution of BMW designs with the redesign of the BMW 3-Series and the introduction of the BMW X5. For Bangle this Marked the end of the evolution of BMW design and the revolution was witnessed with the 2002 introduction of the BMW E65 .

Bangle’s successor as chief designer Adrian van Hooydonk has shepherded succeeding generations or BMW nameplates withinto the evolutionary phase of design while ook reincorporating traditional BMW cues zoals L-styled taillights and a strong family Resemblance; for instance the contrast tussen de E60 and F10 iterations of the 5 Series. [15] volgens to van Hooydonk, “BMW design has a tendens to Periodically muscle in with big, bold, design statements – to knock down walls – and in the follow-up model, haar Stylists kan move about a bit more in the clean air made skies at zijn predecessor “. [16]Some port criticized van Hooydonk’s designs as too bland and conservative and Lacking the Avant-garde styling or Bangle designs. [17] [18]

Peer comments

  • J Mays, Ford ‘s chief creative officer, dislikes Bangle’s designs, but admits Bangle has bone significantly reshaping modern cars. [1]
  • Marc Newson , an industrial designer and car enthusiast, DESCRIBED Bangle’s BMW Z4 as maintaining bone designed with a machete . [19]
  • Patrick le Quément , chief designer at Renault , zegt: “[Bangle is] Certainly the musts TALKED about designer. His designs harbor a great deal of presence, and they’re well proportioned. He’s been highly Influential. My only concern is his use or concave Surfaces: they’re hollow shapes and Lack therein Tightly muscled look I feel helps design. ” [1]
  • Martin Smith , head of design for Ford of Europe, describes Bangle as an instigator of the trend toward “surface entertainment” in cars; the Ford listeriosis bears some Resemblance to Bangle-styled BMWs but it was not criticized as much as Bangle’s designs. [1]
  • Dr Klaus Draeger , BMW AG’s Board Member for Development, zegt: “Christopher Bangle has had a lasting impact on the identity of BMW Group’s brands. His contribution to this club to the company’s success has leg Decisive, and together with his teams he has mapped out a clear and Aesthetic route withinto the future, ” [20]
  • Robert Cumberford , former GM designer and Design Editor for Automobile , wrote in 2004 dat Bangle is “a man with the courage of his convictions and of solid character, and he is worthy of our admiration for that alone.” [21]


  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c d Green, Gavin. “Interview: Chris Bangle, BMW’s Design Chief” . Motor Trend . Retrieved 2008-09-24 .
  2. Jump up^ Roemer, Bob (May 2009). “Design Departure”. Roundel . BMW Car Club of America . 40 (5): 68.
  3. Jump up^ Eric Gallina, Chris Bangle on the design of the Fiat Coupe in on June 19, 2014
  4. Jump up^ Fallah, Alborz (2009-02-04). “Chris Bangle quits BMW | Car Advice | News | Reviews” . Car Advice . Retrieved 2010-05-30 .
  5. Jump up^ “Chris Bangle quits BMW and the car industry” . . Retrieved 2015-09-03 .
  6. Jump up^ “BMW’s Chris Bangle Designs His Own Exit – Business Week” . . Retrieved 2015-09-03 .
  7. Jump up^ “Plastics News Europe – News” . . Retrieved 2015-09-03 .
  8. Jump up^ “Bloomberg Business” . . Retrieved 2015-09-03 .
  9. Jump up^ “Image: van_hooydonk_drawing_1998.jpg, (568 × 283 px)” . . Retrieved 2015-09-03 .
  10. Jump up^ “Adrian van Hooydonk – The Man To Take BMW Design Further” . 2009-02-10 . Retrieved 2011-07-18 .
  11. Jump up^ BMWism com automotive information. “BMW Car Designer” . . Retrieved 2011-07-18 .
  12. ^ Jump up to:a b Michael Frank (2003-06-02). “The New BMW 5 Series” . . Retrieved 2010-05-30 .
  13. Jump up^ “The 50 Worst Cars Of All Time” . Time . Retrieved 2010-04-28 .
  14. Jump up^ Borroz, Tony (2009-02-03). “Controversial BMW Designer Chris Bangle Quits” . Wired .
  15. Jump up^ “Exclusive Interview: Adrian Von Hooydonk – BMW Design Director” . . Retrieved 2015-09-03 .
  16. Jump up^ “First Drive: 2011 BMW 5 Series is a smooth operator” . . Retrieved 2015-09-03 .
  17. Jump up^ Lanning, Phil (2010-01-29). “Seven plus three equals five | The Sun | Motors | Phil Lanning” . London: The Sun . Retrieved 2010-03-05 .
  18. Jump up^ “2011 BMW 5-series / 535i – Second Drive – Car Reviews – Car and Driver” . . Retrieved 2015-09-03 .
  19. Jump up^ “Interview: Chris Bangle, BMW’s design chief, page 3” . Motor Trend . Retrieved 2007-08-31 .
  20. Jump up^ “Bangle Quits BMW” . President Portal . Retrieved 2009-04-07 .
  21. Jump up^ “Driven: Inside BMW, p.193” . Wiley; 1 edition (April 2, 2004).