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.”
Silvio Angori, CEO, Pininfarina
“We retained CDR for a comprehensive study on our brand, the beating heart of the our business. Their work enlightened unknown strengths which will make our business run faster in current races. Even more important, they suggested unforeseen game fields where our business proposition is encountering major interests. In essence, our heart was looked after extremely well.”
Han Hendriks, CTO and Global VP, Advanced Product Development and Sales, Yanfeng Automotive Interiors (previous Johnson Controls)
“We have recently partnered with CDR to develop the essence of new end-user experiences in car interiors enabled by autonomous driving. CDR quickly develop a level insight that lead to very clear new use-cases. We were very impressed with their expertise and the quality and relevance of their work for our project.”
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.
For a century of car design, sports cars and sporty cars were defined by being lower and more dynamic than normal cars; even when parked up they seemed to be straining at the leash to zoom forwards with exterior forms apparently cleaved by air. But this idiom is fast waning; today a sporty car is a car that lo…
At the beginning of most new vehicle development programmes the Design team sit with the Programme Management team and go through the project brief. Within this will be some form of ‘target user(s)’ — the term used by most car companies to define the core profile of person that a car is desig…