Verena Kloos, President, BMW Designworks USA, sat down with my colleague and friend, Ken Gross, and myself to talk about BMW Designworks USA.

Kloos has a staff of 150 people internationally designing for about 80 different companies a year. DesignworksUSA was founded in 1972 by designer Charles “Chuck” Pelly. BMW became a client in 1986 and acquired DesignworksUSA in 1995.

Ken Gross was Executive Director of the Petersen Automotive Museum, in Los Angeles, California for five years. Gross has been Playboy’s auto editor for sixteen years. He has written articles for every automotive and luxury magazine I can think of. He has been a Judge or Chief Class Judge at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance for as long as I’ve known him, which is over twenty years. He is currently working on five books and many television shows.

Kloos talked about why Designworks is unique and how. What will BMW design look like in the future without Chris Bangle? Will there be radical changes? How has the role of a designer changed?

One of the Designworks most radical changes was Brazil’s Embraer. Two of their executive jets, the Phenom 300 and the slightly smaller Phenom 100 were designed by Designworks. Kloos talks about those designs.

Two words that Kloos used that describe a designer – visual thinking.