Design Portrait: Anders Warming (Head of MINI Design)

Official Release: Since December 2010, Anders Warming has held the post of Head of MINI Design. His career path has been the realisation of a childhood dream: Warming never wanted to do anything else but design cars. Barring a short gap, Danish-born Warming has spent his entire professional career with the BMW Group: from DesignworksUSA via BMW Design to MINI Design. The hallmark of his work is the greatest possible precision coupled with creativity. His aim is always to produce a virtuous equilibrium, be it between engineering skill and aesthetics, intellect and gut instinct, or hand and heart.

His philosophy: design as a skilled craft.

Anders Warming sees design as the perfect balance between engineering skill and aesthetics, and he believes art to be the link between these two poles. Only through art can design come into being. He views automotive design as a virtuosic handcraft in the literal sense – a work created by hand. That is why he assigns great importance to the sketching phase: in the development process the sketch is crucial to the entire shape of the design. Authenticity also plays a pivotal part in his work. The vision of a vehicle should be comprehensible and should speak to people not only on an intellectual but also an emotional level. He learnt his craft at two of the motor industry’s most famous training establishments: the Art Center College of Design in the Swiss town of Vevey and the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.

His source of inspiration: from Yesterday to Helter Skelter.

The plain-speaking and likeable Dane likes to draw inspiration from great artists who operate outside the world of design. Along with Picasso, these chiefly include musicians and bands like Miles Davis, Radiohead and The Beatles. The work of Liverpool’s Fab Four holds a special fascination for Anders Warming, and the ideal balance between the intellectual and artistic components in their music has become a model for his own work. It is above all the virtuosity and single-mindedness of Paul McCartney that inspires Warming and underpins his work. He does not believe the success of The Beatles was a coincidence; it was the declared aim of the band right from the outset. And so, from his admiration for the most successful pop group of all time, a parallel is slowly revealed with his own calling, which he regards as a gift – in both senses of the word.

On the personal side.

Anders Warming indulges his passion for music in his private life, too. He loves playing the guitar, and draws his creative strength from it. He also enjoys talking to young people who aspire to a career in car design, helping them by passing on his insights into the challenges of the industry. Anders Warming is married with four children and lives in Munich.

  • Nick Dawson

    Car designers live a world of their own because they are not principally concerned about making a profit. Car manufacturers, however, have to live in the real World, and their first principal is profit.   Making motor cars is becoming almost prohibitvely expensive, which is why today BMW has announced, at the Geneva Motor Show, that it is looking for a North American partner and is in talks with General Motors. GM has just agreed to buy a 7% stake in Peugeot, and BMW is already in talks with Peugeot over engine sharing. Making motor cars is rapidly becoming a global village industry.

    For this reason alone, a unique car like the Rocketman will, sadly, never see the commercial light of day. 

    • Anonymous

      I respect your right to like this car but for me, though I understand some of MINI’s reasoning behind the car, the design is repugnant. I really don’t understand the almost Al Jolson mammy face grill and lights and the silly handle taillights? I also understand I seem to be a minority on this design. Maybe you can enlighten me on your like of this model???

      Really, the more I see of what’s supposedly ahead for the brand the less I like and though my paid off ’04 MCS is doing just fine at 85,000 miles I see nothing that might excite me to buy another MINI. The Abarth 500 is looking more like something I might choose though I understand it has it’s failings or maybe a 2006 GP.

      My thoughts…RB

      BTW… Nice piece on Anders.

  • Alexandre

    Thanks MF Staff. That’s a very interesting piece and it is always good to get to know better the people behind MINI Products. It would be great to have a MF section dedicated to MINI staff. I’d like to read Jim McDowell’s or Vinnie Kung’s profiles for instance. It’s always a bit creepy to look for that info on LinkedIn…

    • Why is it creepy to look at information that people have freely shared online in a public manner. Isn’t that why it’s there? You’re not looking in their windows at home.

  • Frank Granados

    I’d like to ask what cars Mr. Warming have actually designed….

  • Johnny Boots

    As a designer (product, not automotive) I love seeing the articles on MINI design. Thanks!