Car Design Research is a design strategy consultancy that specialises in automotive design.
We help our clients create commercially more successful designs by providing a qualified external view on how they are perceived. We help them get under the skin of customers, products and trends. We develop strategies with them to shape their direction and then communicate this inside and outside of their organisation.
We work across the board, from the big picture of brand, through product position, exterior design and interior design right down to HMI and other forms of transport and product design.
What we do is pretty unusual. It’s quite hard to explain – not least because it’s mostly confidential. But to the right you’ll find links to examples of projects we’ve done.
We’ve been in business since 2000. Since then, we’ve worked for most of the world’s car brands, typically at Design Director or Board level, but also delivering direct into the wider creative team. Below, you’ll find highlights of what they think of us.
Our work often bridges the gap to Marketing, Product Planning and Communications teams, too. And increasingly we’re supporting National Sales Organisations and other creative agencies.
Thomas Ingenlath, Vice President of Design, Volvo
“Car Design Research worked very closely with me to develop a new Design Strategy for Volvo cars that we're rolling out now. Their work was clear and visually strong for us to use in Design, but also had the commercial substantiation valued by our management team”
Lowie Vermeersch, Director Granstudio, Previously Design Director Pininfarina
“What makes the research work of CDR unique is that they understand design and have a passion for it. It allows them to create studies and insights that resonate with designers and make sure that what they do is a real added value to the creative process.”
Laurens van den Acker, Senior Vice President Corporate Design, Renault
“When we needed a credible and knowledgeable outside point of view, we naturally turned to Car Design Research. Their vast knowledge of all things design, experience in the field and network of design professionals establishes them as a reference point for car companies.”
Victor Nacif, Global Head of Product Communications, Nissan
“CDR provide Nissan Design Europe with insights, trends, and nuanced analysis from a Design perspective. They also helped us connect with Creative agencies and facilitate collaboration with Design-led institutions that we could not have easily accomplished.”
Who are we? First and foremost we are design strategy consultants. But our core team has backgrounds in car design, fine art, architecture, consumer research and HMI design. We’re not a design house – we don’t design cars – but we do work closely with predominantly design-orientated clients.
While our core team is small and based in the UK, our associates network is large and global. And we’ve delivered projects literally all over the world.
Being aware of what’s happening in our space and what’s happening in the spaces around us is vital for the creative process. We’re learning all the time. And we think most of our clients believe in this too – but a lot of them have precious little time.
Our Insight List is designed to keep us on our toes and you in the loop, on a regular basis. Our Quarterly Insights is sent to our clients and friends four times a year. Our Show Insights provide in-depth reports from the major International Auto Shows.
Please click here to have a look at the Insight List, sign up for the free Quarterly Insight, or see an example of our Auto Show Reports.
It’s a small detail. It’s just a button. And a knob. Used to flip from the radio to Spotify, or the music on your phone. Or simply turn the volume up and down. And yet driving the new Volkswagen Golf (Mk 7.5) the other week, emphasised a view that we’ve held for some time now, that this small…
Geneva saw some big step changes in HMI. McLaren debuted a novel flip-down, two-state cluster — reprising an idea Nissan first showcased in Tokyo last year with the IDS concept.