smart fortwo coupé passion
Following the ideas and proposals of the invited journalists the smart designers outlined studies of a smart of the future
Prof. Dr. Peter Zec


smart design workshop in the red dot design museum

Creating something new without giving up one’s singularity – a challenge of the extreme? The creative brains of the Daimler Chrysler company took up this question who organised an intensive workshop in the red dot design museum taking place from 4 until 7 July 2006.

Following the ideas and proposals of the invited journalists the smart designers outlined studies of a smart of the future. Speeches by smart design director Hartmut Sinkwitz and design expert Prof. Dr. Peter Zec, President of the international umbrella organisation of design Icsid, rounded off the event.


Good design is not an unconditional question of beauty. Good design shows courage and is controversial. It touches people emotionally and it never gets boring. Ten years ago designers took advantage of this insight when they developed the classic smart “fortwo”. They wanted to break new ground instead of taking into account the formal habits of car design. Creating the smart did therefore not only lead to a new car concept but also all basic conditions were newly defined. From the very beginning the smart made the highest requirements on the designers - it was a question of formally modernising a new, intelligent concept of automobile individuality. The result was a fancy design leading the smart to develop into a cult car during the past ten years: Approximately 750,000 units in 36 markets have been sold so far.

After almost one decade the designers see themselves faced with the task of advancing the smart “fortwo”, its character and the respective concept. Courage, farsightedness and an intensive discussion about even the smallest details are necessary to solve this task. The car designers of the smart therefore invited numerous journalists to the red dot design museum last week, to compile and discuss innovative creations in a stimulating environment, taking up the ideas and proposals of non-designers.

An inspiring supplement to the workshop was the lecture design expert Prof. Dr. Peter Zec gave on the dominance of form vitally influencing us in our daily life. The creative potentials are almost unlimited constituting the very challenges for designers, Zec said. But in the long run nothing remains so perfect that it could not be further improved, he continued. Good design has to be continuously redefined. This was the very object of the smart design workshop offering a platform for creative exchange and intensive and successful work by means of an innovative and customer-oriented approach.

The field of tension between inspiration and manifold requirements was not only picked out as a central theme by Hartmut Sinkwitz, design director of smart, this creative concept was also put into practice: The creative adaptation of ideas put forth by the invited guests in combination with the technical demands made by the concept designers allowed unusual interpretations and focussed creativity.