Ford Motor Company is looking to appoint about 15 designers, from a variety of disciplines, to work in its recently opened design studio in London’s Soho.
The London Design Enterprise, which is likely to be renamed imminently, will house about 30 design staff specialising primarily in automotive, product, branding and fashion design. The studio opened its doors for the first time last week.
Ford’s recently appointed creative director for the Berwick Street studio, Henrik Fisker, previously at BMW, says around half of his design staff will come from Ford and the remainder will be recruited over the course of the year.
‘The designers we are most keen to talk to at the moment are product and fashion designers,’ says Fisker.
Fisker says Ford will soon make a decision about which restaurateur will be granted a site in the basement of the Richard Rogers-built building. The restaurant will be open to the public and is likely to be themed.
A retail outlet on the ground floor, which will also be open to the public, is to be leased to a third party. Negotiations are underway with a number of design-led stores, Fisker adds. A gallery space at the top of the building completes the brand experience.
The aim for the design centre, the brainchild of Ford head of global design J Mays, is the cross-fertilisation of ideas for each of Ford’s eight automotive brands. Combined teams of designers will work on vehicle design, branding products, clothing and other accessories.
The studio will ultimately be run as a profit-centre, says Fisker, and will offer external design consultancy services (to non-automotive clients) at a later date.