Daimler’s Chief Design Officer Sees A Future In Sustainable Luxury

Gorden Wagener, the man behind such wild concepts as the Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury Shuttle thinks the keys to a healthier tomorrow are ease and aesthetics, as he explained in an interview with Bloomberg.

Daimler Chief Design

Let’s get right to it: Is “sustainable luxury” an oxymoron?

No, it’s not. Sustainability will be key to the luxury of the future. Luxury is about being admired by society for what you have, or what you’ve achieved, or what you do. So it’s crucial to show some responsibility to society, which of course includes environmental sustainability.

You post some futuristic designs on your Instagram account, such as the Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury Shuttle, which looks like a drone or a flying taxi. Is that purely theoretical, or are there some things we see in it that we can expect at some point in real life?

Not in the near future. Autonomous flyers and drones can solve major problems of congestion; one day, these things will replace cars or be additional to cars. It will almost be like the Star Wars movie where you see these flying objects that can go up and down. I mean, this is far out–20 or 30 years, maybe. And, one more thing: Autonomy is easier when you’re dealing with flying things than on the ground. We already have planes that fly on autopilot today! So, autonomy like this is not far off.

What are you working toward?

My personal goal is to make this brand the most loved luxury brand in the world. The important thing in that statement is that there are two parts to it: I want to make Mercedes the most-loved brand, and I want to make sure Mercedes is the foremost luxury brand.

You have a particular advantage and unique perspective, because in your daily work you touch on technology, art, design, engineering, and so forth.

Certainly. Designers are the best people to create the future, because we are people who are living in the future already, and it’s easier to create the future when you’re already living in it. We love beauty, and we love to create beautiful things. We love to create easy things, too, because simplicity is so much harder to create than complexity.

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