My visit in the hallowed halls of Mercedes-Benz Design

To stand behind the doors of a design department in which the greatest secrets of Mercedes-Benz are hidden. To take a look behind the scenes of the department in which the first ideas were created for the Mercedes-Benz Design that we know today. I had this fantastic opportunity after an invitation to a design-workshop in Stuttgart/Germany. Here I would like to share my impressions with you.

In 2018 I wrote for the first time about my passion for drawing here on the Daimler-Blog. I was blown away by all the positive feedback. But I really got excited after this comment of the Chief Design Officer Gorden Wagener himself:

…And sometimes, dreams do come true. That’s why we are looking forward to meet you in our design department in summer

To be honest I was waiting for this event for weeks. So I was quite excited as Gorden Wagener entered the room and introduced himself – and I was proud to meet the Chief Design Officer of Daimler AG. As the participants in this event, we were granted deep insights into the design philosophy — and we learned a few secrets: Gorden Wagener and his team have reoriented the Mercedes-Benz Design and developed a new philosophy in recent years.

Naturally, as a passionate illustrator I’ve closely followed these developments. The edges disappeared from the panels and were followed by sensual surfaces and an elegant vehicle body. For me, Mercedes-Benz had always represented luxury, but this change also made the brand attractive to young customers. It was the origin of today’s modern luxury, which we see reflected in almost all Mercedes-Benz models.

From Modern to Progressive: The Mercedes-Benz Design

Every Daimler brand has its own aesthetic. Modern Luxury stands for Mercedes-Benz, Performance Luxury for Mercedes-AMG, Ultimate Luxury for Mercedes-Maybach, and last but not least Progressive Luxury for the EQ models. I really liked the fact that every brand is portrayed individually yet nonetheless in a consistent way.

Every brand’s aesthetic is most clearly displayed in the radiator grille. I found the digital radiator grille especially innovative — it’s capable of changing its look completely. That means that a different grille can be seen in every driving mode. In Sport-Plus mode, for example, a Panamericana grill would have been in front for all to see. It’s a pity that it wasn’t used in the EQC (combined electric energy consumption: 20.8 – 19.7 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km)*.

Tour through the Design department

After the general introduction, we split into four groups. That made our visit to the EQ, the AMG, the A-Class, and the Silver Arrow in their various rooms clearer and more informative and enabled us to get to know them better. The staging of every room was perfectly matched to the design aesthetic of the vehicles. The EQ brand conveyed a cool and digital feeling, while AMG made an extremely sporty impression.

As a result I found the atmosphere was always perfect. In the exhibition room for the Maybach SUV, I was even allowed to sit in the vehicle. The feeling you get from an interior like that is unique. Especially when you are allowed to sit there and experience it up close like I could. Of course, I’d really have liked to drive home in this beauty.

The four brands

I also found the four sculptures that present each brand impressive. They represent the consistent design philosophy of the four brands: Mercedes-AMG, Mercedes-Maybach, Mercedes-Benz, and EQ. The sculptures give off a powerful impression at first glance. I’m sure that they will be every bit as graphic and extremely attractive in ten years’ time as they are today, thanks to their timeless design.

I learned a lot personally on that day, and I took a great deal of inspiration with me for my own drawings. Thank you again to everybody involved for giving me the great opportunity to visit this workshop. I’m now working on my own designs with new motivation and I’m curious to see what Gorden Wagener is going to present next.

*Electric energy consumption and range have been determined on the basis of Regulation (EC) No. 692/2008. Electric energy consumption and range depend on the vehicle configuration.

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Fatih Sahin works as a deputy system operator at the aluminum foundry in Mettingen. In his leisure time he makes drawings, especially of Mercedes models. He believes he inherited his talent for drawing from his aunt, who worked as a fashion designer.