It has been named the Geoff
Lawson Studio in memory of the former Director of Styling, who died
suddenly last year.
The studio, which is to
explore advanced design concepts that could lead to the Jaguars of the
future, is alongside the main design studio at Whitley.
The hi-tech, high-security
compound, is being run by Julian Thomson, aged 38, who joined Jaguar
in January from the Volkswagen Group Design Centre in Barcelona, where
he was Chief Designer. Previously he led the design team that created
the Lotus Elise.
Up to 30 people can work in
the state-of-the-art facilities. Initially it will house 15 staff,
around half of whom have been recruited from within Jaguar.
Callum (pictured, right), Director of
Design, who is in charge of the overall design strategy of the
“The aim of the Advanced
Design department is to investigate the far-reaching future of
Jaguar design in terms of form, language, proportions and
”The brief of Julian
Thomson and his team is to look at new design concepts and market
niches which, though far removed from the Jaguars of today or even
tomorrow, could be the realities of Jaguar’s long-term future.”
Mr Thomson (pictured left) said he can see the
role of the studio very clearly.
“Our job is to say ‘What
“We can be extreme, but we
must remember that Jaguar is about purity of function and line.
We’re not here to provide flights of fancy.”
Many of the designs produced
in the studio will remain secret, but some examples will take
centre-stage at international motor shows.
And Mr Thomson said working on
shows can have a beneficial effect.
“The inflexible deadline
that a show imposes certainly puts pressure on the people creating
the car. But it also encourages spontaneity and that’s good for
the creative process and the finished product.”
He added that Jaguar will not
follow market trends in developing ideas:
“The S-type sports saloon
and the F-Type Concept roadster demonstrate that. They are both
fresh designs but with an absolutely clear Jaguar identity that
makes them stand out as something special and immediately
identifiable. Neither could be anything but a Jaguar.”
Jaguar Managing Director
Jonathan Browning added:
“Much of our past success
stems from the Jaguar hallmarks of prestigious style and
richly-crafted interiors, which remain vital to out future success.
“The role of the Geoff
Lawson Studio is to develop fresh design concepts which embody
greater modernity and innovative technologies and therefore will
play a key role in Jaguar’s future.
our customers may rest assured that we will not allow the essential
Jaguar design values to be diluted. For us and them, a Jaguar will
still be a Jaguar.”