Ford design chief retires

28 May, 2014 2:47pm Oliver Kew

Brit responsible for Ford’s ‘kinetic design’ as seen on the Fiesta, Focus and Mondeo retires

Ford of Europe has announced the retirement of its head of design, Martin Smith. Smith, 64, has been top of Ford’s European design team for the past decade, and responsible for the birth and implementation of the ‘kinetic design’ theme, first seen on the Ford Iosis concept car in 2005.

Subsequently, the ‘kinetic design’ language has been rolled out across the Ford range, from the Galaxy and S-MAX MPVs to the new global Fiesta, Focus and Kuga models.

Smith joined Ford in 2004 after previous stints at Opel, where he penned the 2004 Astra. Previously Smith made his name at Audi in the 1980s and 1990s, working on the first-generation TT’s interior and even designing the iconic Audi Quattro from humble Audi Coupe origins. He'll stay on at Ford helping forecast the future design trends of the brand before retiring at the end of 2014.

Martin Smith will be replaced at Ford by American Joel Piaskowski. His most recent effort is the new global Ford Mustang, which is now available to order in the UK for the first time. Since arriving at Ford in 2010, Piaskowski has also been responsible for the redesign of another of Ford’s US-market icons: the new F150 pick-up truck.

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Hopefully we might see some better designs from Ford in the future, then. I'm not impressed with "Kinetic design", which I find bland and only really looks good on the Fiesta, in my opinion. Ford haven't really come up with anything interesting styling-wise since the New Edge styling in the late '90's.

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