Nearly a decade designing high profile vehicles and concepts at Nissan's design studio in southern California and Japan honed my skills and brought me an insider's understanding to design, research and marketing that I employ today.
These pages show some of my favorite projects, including Titan / Armada, NV2500 Concept and Production Vans, Sentra, Micra, Actic Concept.
Happy to announce some exciting news: This little trailer I designed is now part of the #Airstream family. It's incredible how life works out: I created the styling with this as my goal, and it took some wonderful dinner conversation with some brilliant people to connect the dots, but to see it actually come together this way is really quite astounding. Designed with Love. BT
Camping trailers are kind of my thing. I dream about them, and have lived in them multiple times. For me they represent a promise of freedom, adventure and fantasy.
In 2002, I wrote to the president of Airstream expressing an interest in doing a joint project with the trailer manufacturer and my then employer, Nissan. That letter sat unanswered in a desk for three years, until Dicky Riegel the new president, found it in an empty desk and called me out of curiosity. At that point, the wheels began to turn, so to speak, and we collaborated on several projects. The BaseCamp trailer and Nissan Actic Interior evolved out of that phone call, and to this day, much of my design work is for Airstream. It is one of my favorite companies and the iconic leader in the industry.
UPDATE 2015 :: Currently restyling the car for LCV Capital. This year, the assets of Next Auto were purchased by LCV, and I am collaborating with their team on an updated design. More information here.
Steve Jobs, Colin Powell, Bobby Jindal, Al Gore, T. Boone Pickens, and a host of other luminaries participated in this project. If you told me that I would have the chance to work with and have reviews with these people the day that I left Nissan to join the team, I wouldn't have believed it.
In 2008, an opportunity of a lifetime fell in my lap: The chance to work for Tom Matano, creator of the Mazda Miata and some of the most timeless designs Mazda ever built.
Tom had been commissioned to direct design for a new car company, and I was offered the position of Lead Exterior Designer.
Up until that point, my designs were for large OEMs with the impressive resources that established companies have. This startup opportunity was something different, and my work was certainly cut out for me. I ended up handling production design for both the exterior and interior, logo design, retail architecture, as well as participation in consumer experience and advertising design.
Suffice it to say, it was one of the most incredible experiences of my career. At a start up, you can (and have to) do everything, and every day I learned something new. I would have done it just for the design critique from Steve Jobs at his house. But more importantly, the chance to work one on one with top tier suppliers in the auto industry taught me more than I could have imagined.
One of the most compelling aspects of collaborating with start-up companies, is how many roles you get to work in. You sort of "can and have to do everything." For this automotive start-up, I had a chance to explore graphic design in a way I hadn't done at traditional OEM's, and I had a blast coming up with logos that communicated the values and ideals of this fledgling brand. Here is a small fraction of some I designed.
Working with set designer Teri Whittaker , created set design for Ford's innovative series of commercials showcasing their current product line and abilities. The premise was to create an Industrial Laboratory set for SyynLab's auto-centric experiments. Watch the commercials here by clicking on the videos to the right. My concept renderings are below.
Also, click on Teri's name to check out more of her amazing production design work.
For this project, I lived on the road, in the trucks, with the drivers and created on the spot solutions based on my findings. This page shows some of the mini documentaries I produced highlighting issues and difficulties that design could help improve.
Design for Automotive Retail Space and Customer Interaction Lounge
Working with Brazilian Airplane company Embraer to help design next generation interiors for their executive jet range.
Tubular living in the sky: This was an exhilarating program, akin to designing the world's most sensual, and opulent loft, that also takes you anywhere, anytime.
Employing design skills from both the automotive and recreational vehicle industries, this interior series was created to meet precision expectations and varying requirements of a multi-cultural, high end consumer base.
In 2014, I competed and won the runner up prize on Tru TV's "Motor City Masters" Reality TV Competition Show. I created a scholarship with the winnings for automotive design students. Details are available in the Philanthropy section of this site. It was a once in a lifetime experience, and gave me the chance to hand-build multiple designs that we created in a custom-car shop environment. I had an absolute blast and got to work with some super talents, and industry legends.
Working with production designer Teri Whittaker, create designs for music videos and commercials, collaborating on set with director.
Lot's more to come, soon.
More about Teri's fantastic work here:
For this project, I was commissioned by Samsonite and Airstream to explore a series of luggage that brought both brands together to create a new aesthetic and innovative features.
The Living Cube, Chess Space, and Teabag Lamp.
All the fun of camping, without the bugs.
Concept Living: I designed my work / live space as an "indoor campground."
I spend so much time designing camping trailers, it made sense to live in one full time....
An "Airstream Cabana" for pool-side adventures, I designed for an amazing house under the Hollywood sign. .
Using a deconstructed vintage Bambi, it has a pull out canapé, sunshade, and LCD Screens in the window openings, for daytime views and nighttime entertainment.
Flying Getaway Cars.
Conceptual shark suits for Discovery Channel Shark Week.
And when the mind wanders, a fashion far-out droid that cultivates its own plant skirt, some bunny biting boulders, and other things from far, far away.
Ideation sketches for Citroën C2 & Various Concepts,
What happened to the red slippers Dorothy wore, after she returned to Kansas? Did she take them home? Are they still in Oz? And wherever they are, it's pretty likely that someone still wants them...bad enough to keep dropping houses, campers, small appliances etc on whomever is running around in them. These are the kinds of questions and thoughts that keep me up at night, and inspire me to create teeny tiny scenarios that explore the "what if."