Revolution with a Scandinavian Touch | The Plan
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Revolution with a Scandinavian Touch

Nicola Leonardi: The automotive industry and architecture share many issues. For example: how to engage with society and imagine the future of our cities in terms of comfort and energy saving. Given your amazing career that has seen you working with Rolls-Royce, Bugatti, Bentley and now Volvo, how do you see the link between these two worlds?

Robin Page: Yes, it’s been very interesting to work in the high-end luxury sector on exclusive design projects. Coming to Volvo has been a really interesting phase in my career as the company is about to undergo a massive change. As a designer, it’s always fascinating to be in a place that’s changing quickly, has a strong vision and is in a rush to get there. That’s what attracted me to come here. I have also lived in Sweden, a country that’s always been on my influence boards for its great design philosophy. That “Scandinavian touch” has been somewhat missing in Volvo, I think. So it’s nice to connect with that Scandinavian design language as well.

 

N.L.: Let me go back a bit to your background as head of design for high-end automotive brands that have succeeded in maintaining their excellence while going from a craft process to full industrialisation. How has Volvo’s tradition of manual craftsmanship influenced its production?

R.P.: This transition stage was led by Thomas Ingenlath, my design director. I had worked with Thomas briefly when he was head of the advanced design studio at Volkswagen and also a little at Bugatti. So when he approached me saying that Volvo had a strong new director, how the company was pushing to get into the premium luxury sector, his enthusiasm for this soon-to-happen project prompted me to take some of the experience I’d had with Bentley, Bugatti and Rolls-Royce and see what I could do with what you call a “premium brand” rather than a “high-luxury...

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