Shiro Nakamura is not quite an automotive design superstar, certainly..."/>Nissan Design Boss Thinks That There Are Not Enough Unique Car Design Elements. Do You Agree?


Published on April 11th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Nissan Design Boss Thinks That There Are Not Enough Unique Car Design Elements. Do You Agree?

Shiro Nakamura is not quite an automotive design superstar, certainly not in the eyes of the general public. But his work at Nissan’s design department which he has overseen the past 15 years speaks for itself. And it is impressive – which includes, among others, the Murano, Qashqai, (Infiniti) Q60 Coupe and one of our favourite, Nissan 370Z.


And according to a report by Forbes, this Senior VP and Chief Creative Officer of Nissan Motor Co. has recently commented that there is too much styling resemblance across different brands. He further clarifies that this is true in terms of specific styling elements rather than overall design.

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He gives an example of the front grille for the (Hyundai) Genesis and Audi, which relies on hexagonal shaped outlines.


His next example is particularly interesting as the ‘floating roof’ element is regularly used by him. This is where the rear-most pillars are blacked out to lend an illusion that the roof is seemingly unsupported (like the 2016 Nissan Murano below). This style has been used by other car makers rather extensively.

Since the introduction of the third-generation design for the last model year, the Nissan Murano has experienced record sales – up 30 percent through the first 11 months of calendar year 2015 – thanks to its concept car-like styling, premium interior and advanced, purposeful technology. For 2016, Murano remains virtually unchanged. Like the original Murano, the latest version is a highly sculptural, highly emotional design – one that stands out in a field known more for uniformity and utility-based styling. Working to capture the breathtaking spirit and artistry of the first Murano, the designers began by concentrating on the vehicle’s sculptural qualities. Breaking the usual order of sketching, computer renderings and then clay modeling, the Murano team started working with small three-dimensional clay forms – literally exploring organic shapes and volumes with mini desktop sculptures. The process helped narrow down a new Nissan design direction focused on lightness and efficiency.

So do you agree with Shiro Nakamura? Anyone can see that different models within the same company do look very much alike; usually justified by using the ‘family-look’ card, but it does not help in making the product look more exciting. Especially when the design across brands tend to share an uncomfortable amount of similarity too.

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