GM Advances Design Capabilities in China to Shape Future Global Mobility

 General Motors today shared the progress made by the GM China Advanced Design Center since the studio was expanded and renovated, demonstrating the creative growth of the team on its journey to being a full-fledged compliment to General Motors’ global advanced design footprint.

At the Ben Se (Creative Essence) media event in Shanghai, GM provided an immersive experience with cutting-edge EV designs developed for internal research. It showcased how its locally based world-class creative team is leveraging state-of-the-art facilities and technologies. The team is adopting customer-centric thinking and tech-empowered solutions at every stage of the advanced design process.

“China’s booming electric vehicle market, coupled with consumers’ strong desire for new technologies, has afforded GM’s designers a unique opportunity to revolutionize personal mobility,” said Michael Simcoe, senior vice president of GM Global Design. “The GM China Advanced Design Center serves as a leading tastemaker for GM’s future products.”

One of GM’s four advanced design centers worldwide, the Shanghai-based studio has undergone facility upgrades and doubled the size of its team since 2021, supporting GM’s global drive toward an all-electric future. It possesses comprehensive and industry-leading capabilities encompassing creative design, digital and clay modeling, a paint shop and CMF (color, material and finish), to design in China for China. It is also providing valuable insights and knowledge gained from experiential projects to influence GM’s global design.

Technology-Empowered Design

Each advanced design project serves as a platform to predict, demonstrate, and pulse check design trends and synthesize market-facing insights that may inspire GM’s portfolio over the next five to ten years. The projects on display today reflect GM’s design approach to EV development, leveraging investments in electrification. They emphasize innovative practices that will accelerate the creative journey into GM’s future product portfolio.

“We experiment with design as a solution for technology evolution and celebrate technology as a key driver behind innovative design,” said Stuart Norris, design vice president of GM China and GM International. “The rapid technology development in China is empowering designers to reimagine vehicles and reshape their own career paths.”

As a pioneer in GM’s global design innovation, the Shanghai studio’s highly integrated visualization solutions drive enhanced work efficiency and synergy within a comprehensive 3D creation platform. This includes the utilization of Mixed Reality in a universal seating buck, as well as vehicle configurator and 3D glasses-free review applications powered by the Unreal Engine real-time 3D visualization tool.

After piloting the usage of advanced design and visualization technologies, designers as well as digital and clay sculptors are now acquiring new skillsets to take on even more dynamic roles and responsibilities in the studio. They are expanding the definition of creative professionals to include hybrid talent such as technology artists.

Designing for the Next Generation

As it has grown over the past two years, the studio has welcomed more young talent with a deep understanding of its highly targeted customers. Young designers have played crucial roles in advanced design projects, helping GM establish an emotional connection with China’s future electric vehicle buyers.

One of the projects carried out by the studio is Proxima. From the Portuguese for “next,” Proxima and its name embody the studio’s commitment to designing for the next generation in China. It is the first major accomplishment since its transformation toward EV design began.

Thanks to the fundamentals of its EV architecture, Proxima reimagines flagship sedan proportions, enhances interior spaciousness and elevates travel comfort with a residential-like in-cabin experience. It represents an outward expression of sophisticated simplicity and purity tailored for China’s technology-centric market environment.

Like all advanced design projects, Proxima’s creative journey set off with extensive in-depth design research. This involved carrying out detailed customer profiling and simulation of the user journey. The project came full circle with reviews and research to gauge customer sentiment, enable further refinement and provide inspiration.

Proxima is only the beginning of what’s to come from the GM China Advanced Design Center. The studio is working on multiple projects for GM’s global brands to stay on top of trends at the world’s innovation frontier.

Source : GM

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