Autocar has named Laurens van den Acker its Designer of the Year at an awards ceremony held at Silverstone.
The award recognises van den Acker, Renault’s Senior Vice-President of corporate design, for transforming Renault’s entire model range from the time he joined the French vehicle manufacturer in 2009, and praises his leadership style.
Matt Burt, Editor, Autocar, said: “Laurens van den Acker is as much an inspiring and visionary leader as he is brilliant car designer. Under his leadership Renault’s design has been transformed, with every car in the range instantly recognisable for good looks, whether we’re talking about the cheeky face of the Clio or the strikingly attractive new Mégane and Scénic models, set to be launched in the UK later this year. At Autocar, we admire his clearly expressed design direction, a leadership style that allows others to shine, and the fact that together, this team is producing such universally desirable products.”
Commenting on his award win, Laurens van den Acker, Senior Vice-President, corporate design, said: “I’m very honoured and grateful to receive this prestigious award from Autocar Magazine. I would like to dedicate it to my design team who continue to amaze me with their creativity and their passion. Designing beautiful, innovative cars is what drives us every day at Renault Design and this important recognition will motivate us even more in the future.”
Under van den Acker’s direction, Renault’s ‘Life Flower’ design strategy was conceived in 2010 and has led to a series of concept cars that have inspired the new Renault line-up. The Life Flower is made up of individual ‘petals’ that are each considered a stage within a person’s life: when they fall in love, head off on a journey, have a family, work, play, and become wiser. This design strategy is coupled with the definition of a new stylistic language inspired by three keywords that reflect the brand’s vision: simple, sensual and warm.
In 2015, the New Espace, the Talisman and the Kadjar were all successfully launched, while Renault reinforced its footing in emerging markets India and Brazil with the introduction of the Kwid and the Duster Oroch respectively. In 2016, Renault was presented with several awards at the Festival Automobile International (the Talisman was named Most Beautiful Car of the Year, and Laurens van den Acker won the Design Grand Prix), and the independent organisation Women and Vehicles in Europe (WAVE) has singled out Renault’s Head of Design for C-segment vehicles Agneta Dahlgren as Woman of the Year.
Renault Design is a highly international team with studios in France, Romania, Brazil, South Korea and India. The teams create designs for all Groupe Renault brands – Renault, Dacia, Renault-Samsung Motors and soon-to-be-relaunched Alpine. Laurens van den Acker has overall global responsibility for Renault Design and oversees every design centre and its 500 employees.
|‘Life Flower’ Petal||Concept Car||Debut||Associated Production Car(s)|
|Love||DeZir||Paris Motor Show 2010||Clio (2012)|
|Explore||Captur||Geneva Motor Show 2011||Captur (2012), Kadjar (2015)|
|Family||R-Space||Geneva Motor Show 2011||All-New Scénic (2016)|
|Work||Frendzy||Frankfurt Motor Show 2011|
|Play||Twin’Run; Twin’Z||Monaco Grand Prix 2013 ; Salone Internazionale del Mobile di Milano 2013||All-New Twingo (2014)|
|Wisdom||Initiale Paris||Frankfurt Motor Show 2013||New Espace (2015)|
About Laurens van den Acker
Laurens van den Acker, born on 5 September 1965, obtained a diploma in Industrial Design at the University of Technology in Delft in the Netherlands. He began his career in 1990 as a designer at Design System URL in Turin, Italy. He joined Audi in 1993 as Exterior Designer in Ingolstadt (Germany). In 1996, he became Senior Designer at SHR Perceptual Management in Newbury Park (USA). In 1998, he became Chief Designer of the Brand Imaging Group for Ford Motor Company in Irvine (California). In 2003, he was appointed Chief Designer of the Ford Escape Platform at Design Centre in Dearbon (USA) and in 2005, he became Chief Designer Strategic Design. He went on in 2006 to head the Design division of Mazda Motor Corporation in Hiroshima, Japan. He joined Groupe Renault on May 2009, 15, and he was appointed Senior Vice President, Corporate Design on 1 September 2009. He is a member of the Renault Management Committee.
(1) 26 models launched or renewed in the course of the past four years:
- 11 new models launched: Lodgy, Dokker, Captur, Kwid, Sandero R.S. 2.0, Kadjar, Duster Oroch, Talisman, Talisman State, Kaptur
- 15 models renewed: new Clio, new Logan, new Sandero, new Clio Estate, new Clio R.S., new Logan MCV, new Duster, new Twingo, new Espace, new Trafic, new Mégane, new Mégane Estate, new Scénic, new Grand Scénic and new Koleos.