Open Access Articles- Top Results for DesignworksUSA


Founded (1972)
Founder Charles Pelly
Headquarters Newbury Park, California, United States
Key people
Laurenz Schaffer, President
Number of employees
130+ (2010)
Parent BMW

Designworks, a BMW Group Company, is a global design consultancy based in Newbury Park, California, United States, with design studios in Munich, Germany, and Shanghai. Established independently in 1972 by Charles Pelly, it was acquired by BMW in 1995 and is now a wholly owned subsidiary of BMW Group. Its current president is Laurenz Schaffer.[1]


The design studio was founded in 1972 by designer Charles Pelly. The company opened in Malibu Canyon with only three designers and grew out of Southern California's design trends that took root in a vibrant car culture. Early customers included Hyster and the Otis Elevator Company. In 1978, the company expanded and moved to Van Nuys, and set up its first sister studio, D2, in Detroit. In 1986, because of its extensive knowledge in seating design and ergonomic development, DesignworksUSA received its first BMW project, the BMW 850 seat. In the same year, the company moved to Agoura. In 1988, DesignworksUSA moved to Newbury Park, and began designing for Nokia and Siemens.

Designworks's reputation grew in the 1990's when the firm began working with Nokia, Compaq, Siemens and Adidas. In 1991, BMW acquired a large percentage of the company, and Designworks started its first car exterior design project in 1993 for the 1998 BMW 3 Series (E46). In May 1995, BMW AG purchased the remaining percentage of Designworks. At this time artist David Hockney painted an Art Car in the studio. In 1998, Designworks opened a studio in Munich, and in 1999, Henrik Fisker was named President.

In 2001, Adrian van Hooydonk became president, and in 2002. Designworks expanded its automotive studio in Newbury Park.

Verena Kloos was president from 2004 to 2009. In January 2006, the company opened a new studio in Singapore, and in 2007 unveiled their new studio wing in Newbury Park. On December 1, 2009, Laurenz Schaffer, formerly director of Designworks's Munich studio, became president. In April 2012, Designworks opened a new studio in Shanghai.[2]

In April 2015, DesignworksUSA changed their name to Designworks and updated their website and corporate identity to better reflect their growth into a leading global company.


Designworks provides design and consulting services in the following areas:

  • Product, Transportation, Automotive, Environmental and Interaction Design
  • Design Communication, Research, and Strategy
  • Sustainability Consulting
  • Creative Engineering
  • Color, Material, and Finish Design
  • 3D Visualization and Modeling

Recent clients have included Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Starbucks, Coca Cola, Boeing Business Jets, Embraer Phenom 100 and Phenom 300,[3] Pilatus, John Deere, Advanced Medical Optics, BAVARIA Yachts, Dornbracht, Acer, Head and Singapore Airlines.


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  2. ^ Neil, Dan (May 5, 2012). "The Ferrari With The Dragon Tattoo". The Wall Street Journal. p. D2. 
  3. ^ Gerzanics, Mike (27 April 2010), "FLIGHT TEST: Embraer Phenom 300", Flightglobal (Reed Business Information), archived from the original on 4 May 2012, retrieved 28 March 2015 

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