New Designworks studio in Shanghai: Inspiration for new design ideas from China, for China – and the world.


Munich/Shanghai. The BMW Group’s Designworks
innovation studio has a new location in the West Bund district of
China’s economic hub of Shanghai. In West Bund, the city’s flourishing
arts, culture and business district, the design team has their finger
on the pulse, enabling them to develop new design ideas for both the
BMW Group and other clients.

Studio opening accompanied by Art & Design talk with Cao
Fei and Jessica Zhang.
The official inauguration of
the new studio will take place during the West Bund Art & Design
Fair Shanghai, which runs from 9-12 November 2023. As a long-standing
partner, BMW Group will present the talk “Art & Design:
Co-Creation x Technology”. Participants will include multimedia
artist Cao Fei, director of the Today Art Museum Beijing, Jessica
Zhang, and head of Designworks, Holger Hampf. During the panel
discussion, emerging talents Liu Xin and Fei Jun will also present
their BMW inspired collaboration evolving around hyper-emotive
technology experiences.

The BMW Group talk is part of the official West Bund Art &
Design debate series and will take place on Friday, 10 November 2023,
from 5-6 p.m. in the West Bund Dome.

Impactful collaboration and global idea-sharing at R&D
At the new site in West Bund, which is surrounded
by countless cultural institutions, about 50 creatives find an
exceptionally creative working environment. At the same time, they are
in constant contact with the BMW Group design team at corporate
headquarters and the other Designworks studios in Munich and Los
Angeles. “With the Designworks studio in Shanghai, we are turning the
eyes and ears of the BMW Group towards Asia,” said Adrian van
Hooydonk, head of BMW Group Design. “Here, we can create
ground-breaking innovations that are not only important for the
Chinese market, but also benefit products in the global market as a
whole.” The aim is to create human-centred design innovations to meet
the specific needs of customers in China and across the wider Asian
region. The new Designworks studio is an integral part of the BMW
Group’s Research and Development Centre in Shanghai. Pooling design
and development expertise at one location speeds up and improves
interdisciplinary exchange throughout the entire product creation
process: from the early phases of design, all the way to production.

Insights into culture, tradition and customer wants in China.

Through Designworks Shanghai, the BMW Group gains valuable
knowledge of the country’s culture and tradition. The studio provides
assessments of the latest social, design-relevant phenomena and
people’s changing needs, with regard to aesthetics, lifestyle and
technology. “The market for car design in China has been growing
disproportionately and at a breathtaking pace for several years. We
are positioning ourselves to reflect this: Our Designworks team in
Asia has also developed rapidly over the past ten years,” said Holger
Hampf, head of Designworks. “Together with the studios in Munich and
Los Angeles, Designworks is in an ideal position to constantly inspire
the BMW Group and our external clients with innovative new ideas,”
Hampf continued.

Design innovations for China and the BMW Group
The influence of the design studio in China
is also recognisable in the model variant of the new BMW 5 Series
Sedan developed exclusively for the Chinese market. For the first
time, the new BMW 5 Series for China not only comes with a longer
wheelbase, creating a more spacious rear compartment, but also with
proportions that are specifically designed with Chinese customers in
mind. Its profile is reminiscent of a Gran Coupé. Exclusive design
elements also give the vehicle a luxurious, thoroughly modern
character and a strong presence. Key design elements will also be
developed locally at Designworks for the future models of the NEUE
KLASSE in China.

The question of how future customers define premium quality is
of particular significance to the BMW Group. The “Designworkers” are
gaining specific insights into the Asian region and translating them
into concrete product ideas. In the field of colour and material
design, the team is combining traditional craftsmanship with visionary
materials to create a new and sustainable interpretation of quality at
the highest level. For example, in cooperation with BMW Group Design
and local Chinese tech startups, Designworks is reinterpreting
traditional Chinese handicrafts such as ZhangRong velvet, Song brocade
and lacquer with contemporary aesthetics for possible use in series
production. Sustainable processes paired with natural and recycled
materials are creating a new sense of wellbeing due to novel optical
and haptic impressions.

Creative output from Designworks Shanghai is also valuable for
the BMW Group’s digital experience: from visualisation of BMW IPA
(Intelligent Personal Assistant), to the creation of the all new MINI
digital companion, “SPIKE” and special Festival Modes– artistic
animations played on the Control Display of current BMW models to
celebrate special occasions.

Inspiration through cross-industry
As at other Designworks locations, the
creative minds at the Shanghai studio do not work exclusively for the
BMW Group and its brands. They are also commissioned, in parallel, by
a large number of clients from other industries. This gives
Designworks a unique outside-in perspective that enables it to enrich
BMW Group design time and again with inspiring and innovative design ideas.

In collaboration with CRRC, the world’s largest rolling stock
manufacturer, the Designworks team in Shanghai designed both the
exterior and interior of a new generation of high-speed trains.
Designworks also recently developed the future positioning and product
design for Chinese e-bike manufacturer Yadea. For luxury kitchen
manufacturer Fotile, the team created an end-to-end customer
experience for their smart-home household appliances.

If you have any questions, please contact:

BMW Group Corporate Communications

Michaela Martinus
Press spokesperson,
Telephone: +49-160-96 31 3773

Steven Woerns
Press spokesperson, BMW Group
Telephone: +49-151-601-16992

Prof Thomas Girst
Head of Cultural
Telephone: +49-89 382 24753

Media website:

About Designworks

Designworks is the BMW Group’s innovation studio and
a global creative consultancy at the intersection of design,
technology and innovation. The “Architects of Future” focus
on mobility, product and digital life design, as well as strategic
design consulting.

The formerly independent creative studio was taken over by the
BMW Group in 1995. Designworks acts as a driving force for all brands
of the parent company and as an innovation driver for a large number
of clients from a wide range of industries, such as IT and consumer
electronics, aviation technology, the medical and environmental
sectors, and the lifestyle and sports industries. The studio was
founded in 1972 in Malibu, California by Chuck Pelly. Holger Hampf has
been at the helm of the consulting agency since 2017.

BMW Group Cultural Engagement

Why culture? Why not! Culture is knowledge, a sanctuary of
beauty and depth, of meaning and peace. An inspiring escape. Tranquil
at best, even unsettling sometimes. As a corporate citizen, the BMW
Group takes social responsibility seriously, as part of which it has
been involved in hundreds of cultural initiatives worldwide for over
half a century, both in the arts, music & sound, architecture, as
well as in design. As a long-term partner, creative freedom is key –
and as essential for groundbreaking works as it is for major
innovations within a business enterprise like ours.

The BMW Group’s Cultural Engagement, with exclusive updates and
deeper insights into its global initiatives can be followed on
Instagram at @BMWGroupCulture.

Further information: and

The BMW Group

With its four brands BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW
Motorrad, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of
automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and
mobility services. The BMW Group production network comprises over 30
production sites worldwide; the company has a global sales network in
more than 140 countries.

In 2022, the BMW Group sold nearly 2.4 million passenger
vehicles and more than 202,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit
before tax in the financial year 2022 was € 23.5 billion on revenues
amounting to € 142.6 billion. As of 31 December 2022, the BMW Group
had a workforce of 149,475 employees.

The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term
thinking and responsible action. The company set the course for the
future at an early stage and consistently makes sustainability and
efficient resource management central to its strategic direction, from
the supply chain through production to the end of the use phase of all


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