|Frank Stephenson enjoys sharing the passions of the folks he designs solutions for. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2018)|
ArtCenter Meet-Up With Recognized Automotive Designer Frank Stephenson
An absolutely enthralling late morning and afternoon was spent with friends, scholars, fans and colleagues of "Rock Star" & ArtCenter College of Design educated designer of the BMW MINI, rebirth of the Fiat 500, BMW X5 SUV, certain models of Ferrari - Maserati - Alfa Romero, and for the last 7+ years Design Director at McLaren Automotive - Frank Stephenson.
|Listing of the documentary that Salon Pictures, with a distribution partnership through Lionsgate, found as an active project on the Salon Pictures website. Image Credit: Salon Pictures (2018)|
A meet-up was arranged at ArtCenter for a few lucky folks to help give some background to a documentary being produced (Salon Pictures/Lions Gate) about Frank with a working title of ... My Design Life.
|Simeon Panda and Frank Stephenson share some treasured stories, on camera, about body-building, challenges, perseverance, and cruising on Frank's wood hulled electric water craft in and around London. Good times. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2018)|
Beyond the engaging nature of Frank and the interesting design critiques of his own collaborative result of his produced road-worthy works, the breadth and nature of the people gathered stood as a testament in a most interesting wake trailing behind a designer's life lived.
|Top of the line Fiat 500 Abarth brought to the meet-up by Grant Delgatty co-founder of the personal transportation device known as URB-E. Another winning design, another signed dash, and another story of the joy Frank's Design Life brings to all it touches. We all know - this is the easy part. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2018)|
On the critique side, Frank took on a recently purchased McLaren 720S, owned by @garagegoals.official, that graced our meet-up. The critique was entertaining, informative and insightful given the nature of our gathering.
|With motion back and forth across the horizontal design element, Frank Stephenson illustrates his point that visually, and functionally, this area could have been handled differently. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2018)|
First, was the trailing "bubble" or accent-line indent just behind the front wheel and under the rear-view mirror. Frank's attitude from further reflection is that "less is more" and that the horizontal element that began at the wheel well accent curve should not be there - it was unnecessary and too busy. The finished look should be a continuation and fade out blending of the wheel well accent curve and that would be that.
|Triangle in satin finish. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2018)|
Second, the triangle support guide at the leading, or front of the door, where the cabin side window is mounted should have been covered in a gloss black, as opposed to a satin finish or murdered out black, in order to repeat the reflective nature of the glass. After-all, the pillar that forms the roof structure is gloss black - notice how it fades into the background. McLaren offered as the reason for not changing the finish of this triangle element ... cost.
|Two-piece vent finish solution. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2018)|
Lastly, along the McLaren's "signature" side body channel airflow vent access, this should have been a single defining piece, or cover. The two-piece cover that was the final solution leaves an eyebrow style edge or line that left the designer in Frank less than comfortable.
Ahhh, the ever-pursuing mind of a design perfectionist.
|Frank Stephenson looks skyward as he waits for the production crew of My Design Life to finish another interview of some of the folks who had gathered at this impromptu meet-up at ArtCenter. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2018)|
Frank Stephenson's next designing chapter will begin May 7th, 2018 for a Munich, Germany company who brought him on to shape a five seat version of their two seat prototype of a vertical takeoff and vertical landing 150+ mph autonomous air transport taxi.
As Frank was overheard saying when asked, Why? "Look up, there's a lot of room up there!" ... as he smiled and looked skywards.
... notes from The EDJE
TAGS: Frank Stephenson, @artcenteredu, Stewart Reed, @_Garagegoals, @simeonpanda, @urberides, Grant Delgatty, #FSACCD, #ACCD, #salonpictures #lionsgate #film #mydesignlife #la #california #design, @The_EDJE