Make / Model Search

News - BMW

BMW's Designworks opens third studio

Diverse commissions accepted by BMW’s new Designworks studio in Santa Monica

16 Feb 2023

LIKE many other car-makers, BMW is opening a design studio in California, although this studio’s brief is broader than the pure automotive spectrum and will branch into diverse commissions from other areas.


Called Designworks LA, the BMW Group subsidiary in beachside suburb Santa Monica is strategically positioned close to one of the most important and complex mobility hubs in the world, and is in the heart of “Silicon Beach” – the trendy mecca for design, media, and technology in Southern California.


The BMW design team’s mission is to shape the future of mobility while accepting other briefs along the way.


Inspiration for Designworks’ efforts will come ‘from the environment in which it is based’ with work carried out on behalf of the BMW Group and other varied clients from industries including mobility and transportation through to consumer electronics, charging infrastructure and interior spaces. 


Designworks describes itself as both a design studio and creative think tank that studies global trends then uses that information to provide inspiration in the fields of innovation, design, and sustainability.

The creative organisation has been in existence for over 50 years, expanding the business and its capabilities along the way.


It started making classic clay models for vehicle design then progressed to developing holistic mobility solutions that “serve the whole ecosystem of urban spaces”.


Covering an area of about 1500 square metres, the new premises is the largest of the three global Designworks studios – the other branches are in Munich and Shanghai.

Shared across all three locations is the structure’s basic design with facilities and equipment to “support the transformation from physical to digital design and development”.

Timed to open in conjunction with the BMW-supported Frieze Los Angeles art show, the Designworks studio is a focal point for creatives and art lovers during the event held at Santa Monica Airport from Feb 16-19.


“Santa Monica is a test bed for the innovative and sustainable mobility solutions of tomorrow,” said BMW Group senior vice president of design and a former head of Designworks, Adrian van Hooydonk.


“Designworks will generate valuable impetus, inspiration, and new ideas for the design of the BMW Group brands right here.”

Head of Designworks Holger Hampf said the new studio “allows us to fully exploit the freedoms digitalization gives us”.


“Personal interaction remains a focal point, but we do work differently in Santa Monica: In this new workspace, our processes are geared towards virtual communication, and we are able to bring the results of our work to life for clients in an entirely new way.”

Mr van Hooydonk added: “Artists and designers alike are forward thinkers who question the status quo, speed up the transformation and shape the future.”


Designworks has input into many internal design projects within the BMW Group sharing many ideas and the expertise developed through the studio’s work externally.

The studio describes it as an outside-in perspective which “helps to inform and enrich the development of the company’s user centric approach” while facilitating experimentation into new production methods and environmentally compatible, recyclable materials such as bacteria-based, plastic-free and non-animal textiles.

Designworks was fully engaged in two major undertakings – the BMW M Hybrid V8 race car which recently appeared at the 24 Hours of Daytona and at the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, where the company created a special app for BMW’s presentation of the future-focused Vision Dee vehicle with colour changing technology.

Read more

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

BMW articles

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here