Giovanni Arova, as Nissan's Program Design Director, led the design of the recently released Nissan Aria Concept. The vehicle embodies Nissan's vision of "Nissan Intelligent Mobility" to solve problems such as traffic accidents and exhaust gas through electrification and intelligence, and to provide a seamless travel experience for everyone. Equipped with twin electric motors and glorious award-winning driver assistance technology, this powerful crossover EV concept car has completely redesigned Nissan.
In an interview conducted at the cafe “ café-Z '' on the theme of Fairlady Z in Nissan's Global Design Center, Arova found the background of the birth of the “ Nissan Aria Concept '' and the existence of Nissan that became part of his own DNA And clarified the process that made the dream come true.
Q: Why did you become a designer at Nissan?
Arova: After graduating from the Art Center College of Design in 2000, I was lucky enough to join the Nissan design team in San Diego. It was an ideal place for designers to be free from existing ways and to create something new. From this time to the present, I have had the opportunity to influence the brand's form language. Now Nissan is part of me, and I am part of Nissan. I am preparing to shape the future of Nissan.
Q: What kind of approach did you initially take to shape the Nissan Aria Concept?
Arova: The starting point was a vision of how to shape the future. We wanted to combine our unique experience in the EV field and the autonomous driving and connected technologies that Nissan Intelligent Mobility boasts with the form of the car. The appeal of dynamic driving is essential to this concept car.
Q: Last October, you witnessed the launch of the Nissan Aria Concept at the Tokyo Motor Show. How did you feel about seeing your latest work make its world debut?
Arova: The words "Welcome to the future of Nissan" at the beginning of the press conference were very impressive and excited the audience. The Nissan Aria Concept is the first car to introduce Nissan's technology at a glance. I am very proud and happy. I think this design and style will be successful.
Q: If the Nissan Aria Concept is mass-produced, where do you want to drive first?
Arova: I grew up in Southern California and would like to drive the Pacific Coast Highway from Santa Barbara to Big Sur, Carmel to Monterey. It would be wonderful to run on the west coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean. For a long break, I would like to visit Spain and Portugal. Otherwise, I would like to go up the west coast of Scotland to the Isle of Skye.
Q: What songs [or albums] do you want to listen to on your drive?
Arova: I love music as much as a car. I listen to any genre depending on the mood at that time, but now I like orchestral electronic music. That's why I'm going to play the Kiasmos album, Kiasmos. Or Kamashi Washington's Street Fighter Mass. For the Aria concept drive, Brock Veligan's The Scenic Root is also a good choice. DJ Rogers' "It's Good to Be Alive" is also on the playlist. I'm a retro person.
Q: How many staff members were involved in realizing the Nissan Aria concept?
Arroba: Many departments, including design, development, product planning and marketing, worked closely together on a common vision of Nissan's future. Needless to say, there are many engineers who have changed the concept from idea to reality. I don't think it's generally known how many designers are needed to design a single car, or how broad a knowledge is. Cars are driven by a number of complex mechanisms. At the same time, cars are also part of the owner's life. By giving it a personality commensurate with its features, we make the experience of the owner unforgettable for a long time.
Q: How do members of the design team from different cultures and backgrounds cooperate during the production process?
Arova: Design teams from around the world are similar to orchestras. Or it can be a jazz band enjoying a session. Everyone is in charge of different musical instruments and inspires passion and inspiration for music. Spins multiple tones together to play a symphony. The same goes for the Nissan Aria Concept. As a global team comes together, the concept of the brand becomes richer, and it becomes music.
Q: Do you research fields other than automobiles and transportation? For example, how about the future of fashion, architecture, toys, and food? Do you get a lot of inspiration from different fields?
Arova: Of course. In addition to the areas I just mentioned, music and movies are also clues. It is inspired not only by the content itself, but also by how the work was composed and filmed. Car design is like creating a visible symphony or setting the scene for a customer to travel.
Q: Have you been interested in car design since you were a child?
Arova: Actually, when I was little, I wanted to be an architect. I still like architecture. It is said that "space is the breath of art". I was longing for movies and anime. It does not change now. These things naturally influence my design process.
Q: When you were a child, did you have a car that liked design? It can be a real car or fiction.
Arova: That's a difficult problem. There are many cars that have inspired me both before and now. Above all, Italian cars and the concept of the 60s and 70s are exceptional. Lancia Stratos Zero in 1970, Maserati Boomerang in 1972, sensual Alfa Romeo Stradale in 1968, Disco Volante in 1952.
Q: In recent years, car manufacturers have developed special concept cars for movie productions. Which movie car do you want to design?
Arova: I want to design a James Bond car. Or is it the world of the Blade Runner?
Q: What are the unique features of the cars you have worked on so far?
Arova: I value balance. Balance is very important in creating a model personality tailored to the target customer. We are particular about the balance between the sharp impression and the fluid and smooth surface that wraps around the interior and exterior of the driver's seat and front passenger seat. I hope that you will feel that balance through the Infinity Essence Concept, the IMs Concept, the Maxima production car, and of course the Nissan Aria Concept.
Q: At first you design with pen and paper. How do you combine such analog methods with cutting-edge technologies such as VR to communicate ideas to designers around the world?
Arova: Whenever a new idea or concept comes to mind, I use a sketchbook and pen to write it down. It's the simplest tool for communicating ideas and concepts to people.
When you sketch your ideas as a first step, you can of course draw them on paper or use digital devices. Once the direction is determined, make a clay model, a digital model, or both. Use this model to confirm your idea in VR, then create a full-scale model. VR plays an important role in this process. With VR, you can quickly check things that don't exist yet.
Q: What other tools are important in the design process?
Arova: First and foremost, have an open mind, expand your imagination, and continue to discover new things. In addition to sketching and VR, you can modify various shapes and forms using clay models. It is important to explore not only digital space but also clay models. Anime and movies based on design can also help us understand and communicate the experiences we are creating.
Q: What should an artist seeking freedom not do in car design?
Arova: Thinking about the sketches [illustrations] and the "real things" that you are actually making. Designers tend to be obsessed with sketching and rendering. I have a hard time making a sketch well. Sketching is just one way to come up with equations to make fantasy a reality. Sketches are one of the vocabularies that we use to express our ideas, but they are not definitive.
Q: What advice do you have for those who aim for the world of automotive design?
Arova: Anyway, draw and draw. To be able to draw a lot and use the words of the design world. Creating a symphony called design requires mastering sketches. Let's summarize the history of the car and the reasons why the design was born, and actually draw it. Find out about car trends, visit motor shows and learn how cars work. Then learn about the collective consciousness of the past and present, take the next step towards the future, and make a breakthrough.