Design for life: Gorden Wagener
What does your ethos of “sensual purity” mean?
This expresses an essential aspect of our brand — the bipolarity of emotion and intelligence. The aim of our design philosophy is to create pure and sensual forms and surfaces that showcase high tech while radiating emotional appeal. In a nutshell, we call it ‘hot’ and ‘cool’.
The great strength of our philosophy is that, depending on the interpretation, we can create different luxury worlds for our brands: performance luxury for AMG, the ultimate luxury for Maybach, a world of modern luxury for Mercedes-Benz and a progressive luxury for our new brand, EQ.
What made you go into car design?
When I was young, I loved drawing, doing sketches and being creative. Also, car design is the most complex design discipline, which is why I decided to go for it. Now I am chief design officer of the most admired car brand in the world, and I have to admit I really love my job.
What are the products you are most proud to have worked on?
I am proud of every single car my team, and I put on the road.
Do you agree with the phrase: “Perfect design is when you sit down, and everything is where it should be”?
That is one part of good design. Beauty is very important. And the other part is intelligence, something unexpected and very high tech.
How does feedback from the Mercedes F1 team impact what you do?
Formula 1 and Design have one thing in common: a daily competition for being number one. And that’s what we’re aiming for: being world champion in design and the most desired luxury label in the industry.
When designing, do you prefer working on the interior or exterior of a car?
That is hard to say, but I am happy that, as head of design, I can do both.
If you were to create a limited-edition car for the GCC market, what model would it be and what would you add to it?
The Mercedes-Maybach G 650 Landaulet is a very good example. We just built 99 of them, and each was unique. Regarding colour, white is definitively wonderful and of course luxury elements, especially in the interior, are necessary as most of our customers in your area choose to have an individual and personalised car.
Do you draw in your spare time?
Drawing has always been part of my life as I get inspiration from everywhere, be it nature or city. So whenever I find some time I take out a canvas and some oils.
Do you keep your design notebooks?
Of course, I keep them, as sometimes I also get inspiration from previous sketches for future models.
What is your dream car?
There is no single dream car — it is every car I ever did, and I am working on with my team.