Holden Design: videos and designers’ profiles
A video series on Holden’s design activities and the official profiles of the Australian company design managers.
(cover image: sketch by Holden designer Ben Last)
The video series – reported below as a Playlist – is titled “A Look Inside Series” and was released in May 2012 to promote Holden’s design careers.
It includes interviews with designers and modelers plus various footage shot at the Australian company’s design studio.
Below we report the complete design managers’ profiles, recently released by Holden.
GM Holden Design Director
Andrew Smith took up the position of Holden Design Director in August 2012. His 20-year international career with General Motors has involved the leadership of interior, exterior and advanced design programs, global architecture development and concept car creation on three continents.
Andrew is a graduate of the Sydney College of the Arts and University of Technology Sydney and holds a Bachelor of Design (Industrial Design). He joined Holden in 1992 to work as an exterior designer on the ‘ground up’ VT Commodore program.
He was then responsible for the exterior design of the VU Ute and the high-profile Sandman panel van and Utester concepts.
Andrew travelled on international assignment to GM design headquarters in Detroit, Michigan, in 2005. His initial role as GM North America (GMNA) Director of Design – Small and Midsize Truck Interiors, involved developing a direction for Hummer interiors and product proposals such as the Hummer HX concept, exhibited at the 2008 Detroit Motor Show.
Appointed GMNA Director of Advanced Design in 2007, Andrew headed the studio responsible for trends analysis, future vision and show cars. Among other programs he led the ‘Eco’ research project and a ‘Small Premium’ project for Buick.
From 2009-2010, as GMNA Director of Architecture Strategy, he led an initiative to set up GM’s Global Architecture Studio, a collaboration between Design, Planning and Advanced Engineering which co-ordinated input from markets worldwide and oversaw all future global vehicle platform development.
Moving from the US to Seoul, South Korea, in 2010, Andrew became GM Korea Managing Director of Architecture and Advanced Design. He took responsibility for developing next generation product for mini and small/light market segments and was involved in the launch of the Chevrolet brand in South Korea with the stunning Miray concept car.
Chief Designer, GM Holden Design
Richard qualified as an Industrial Designer at RMIT in Melbourne, Australia in 1982 and has been a Creative Designer at GM Holden since 1988.
During his career at GM Holden, he has contributed to most Commodore programs since the VN Program.
Highlights include involvement in VR Commodore and Caprice Interior, VT and WH programs, ‘new millennium’ V2 Monaro and GTO programs, VE Commodore and WM Caprice programs.
In 1994, Richard was given the responsibility to redesign the Holden Lion corporate logo, which remains unchanged.
In 1995, Richard worked on assignment at GM Design Headquarters in Detroit.
Richard was also responsible for creating the award-winning Holden EFIJY concept car in 2005.
Design Manager – Exteriors
Peter holds a BA in Industrial Design from RMIT and began his career at Holden Design in 1990, when his first project was the VR Commodore exterior upgrade. Later he joined the young team responsible for the exterior design of the all-new VT Commodore, launched in 1997.
Following the VT program, Peter was involved with the design of the 1998 Holden Coupe show car, a concept which morphed into the new generation Holden Monaro. He held the position of lead designer, exterior and interior, for the production Monaro.
In 1999, Peter was appointed lead designer for the Chevrolet YGM-1 show car, which was unveiled at that year’s Tokyo Motor Show. The success of this car led to time spent in Japan designing a production version, which became the Holden Cruze, in a joint venture with Suzuki.
Peter Hughes led exterior design programs for the Holden Adventra wagon and Holden Crewman Cross 8 (2003) and the Elfin Streamliner, unveiled at the 2004 Melbourne Motor Show. During this period, he also led and managed the team responsible for the exterior design of the all-new VE Commodore, which was launched in 2006.
Subsequently, Peter managed the exterior design of the 2008 Coupe 60 show car and the new generation Chevrolet Camaro before turning his attention to managing exterior design for the VF Commodore range.
Currently, Peter divides his time between Holden Design and GM Korea Design, overseeing
and mentoring design team members engaged in a variety of GM programs.
Design Manager – Interior
He began his career at Holden Design in 2002 as a student designer and graduated from Monash University’s Industrial Design/Mechanical Engineering double degree course in 2003.
His initial involvement with the interior design team focused on the 2006 VE Commodore and WM Caprice programs. Subsequently, Joe worked on the interior design of other VE variants and he was lead interior designer for the 2007 VE Sportwagon program.
He led design of the VEII Commodore interior upgrade, assisting in development of the Holden-iQ touch screen user interface. He has also worked on exterior design proposals during his time at Holden Design and was lead interior designer for a number of global GM products.
Joe’s current position of Design Manager involves the development of interior proposals.
Chief Designer – Colour & Trim Design
Sharon Gauci is an Industrial Designer who graduated from Swinburne University, Melbourne, in 1992. She began her design career at Ford Australia in 1993 and later moved to a marketing position at BMW Australia before joining Holden in 2004 as Chief Designer, Colour and Trim.
Following her involvement with the design of the VE Commodore and WM Statesman and Caprice, Sharon was appointed in 2006 to the position of Chief Designer, Colour and Trim Design GM Asia Pacific, and in this role assisted with the 2009 Cruze (J300) global vehicle program.
In 2008, Sharon was appointed Director of Design, heading up the GM North America Colour and Trim design studio, where she directed the creative vision and innovation of future car lines and brands including Chevrolet, Cadillac, Hummer, Buick, SAAB, Saturn, GMC and Pontiac. Further projects included the Cadillac Converj plug-in hybrid sports car concept exhibited at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show and the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle.
Sharon returned to Australia in 2009 and in her position as Holden Chief Designer – Colour & Trim Design, she led a creative design team for production vehicles, which included the VF Commodore, and advanced design concepts such as the EN-V vehicles launched at Shanghai Expo.
In 2013, Sharon will return to Detroit to take up the post of Design Manager, Global Buick Colour and Trim.
John is a seasoned member of the Holden Design team, having joined the company in 1988 after gaining a Bachelor of Industrial Design degree at Canberra College of Advanced Education (now Canberra University). He worked on completion of programs for the 1990 VQ Statesman/Caprice and the 1991 VP Commodore before becoming involved with exterior design upgrades for the short- and long-wheelbase VR models introduced in 1993/94.
At the onset of the VT Commodore program, he turned his attention to interior design and saw the project through from concept initiation to start of production. Following work on VU Utility interior and exterior design themes, John took on a similar role with the VY model.
Leveraging the skills and experience gained from these programs, John filled interior design roles on the VE Commodore Sedan, Sportwagon and Ute body styles and WM Statesman/Caprice models.
John was appointed Design Manager in 2005. His recent work includes interiors for the VEII Commodore upgrade and the locally-designed J300 Cruze Hatch as well as the major VF Commodore interior program.
Design Manager – Colour and Trim Design
It was in 1999, while completing her Bachelor of Arts Degree (Hons) in textile design at RMIT University, that Kirsty began her career at the company as part of the co-op student program.
Early creative contributions to programs and concept vehicles such as the Monaro, Sandman concept, SSX concept and the VE Commodore built Kirsty’s expertise in a variety of commodities such as leather, fabric and decorative and soft trims.
Elevated to lead designer role in 2005, she led the exterior body colour design and development, creating several of the colours that are now synonymous with the Holden brand.
In 2006, Kirsty was assigned to GM Brazil, where she led a pioneering global truck program that has been selling in more than sixty markets around the world, including the 2012 Holden Colorado in Australia.
Further international experience followed at GM’s global headquarters in Detroit, USA, managing a design team developing brand-specific visions and materials for a number of concept vehicles, including the Cadillac Converj. Returning to Australia in 2009, Kirsty continued in her role as design manager.
Before assuming responsibility for the Commodore programs, she led a global creative team on a range of innovative new technology projects. Kirsty has also led the colour and trim development for electric networked vehicle (EN-V) projects and supported show-car design and development for other GM regions.
Design Manager – Colour & Trim Design
In 1991 Jenny joined Holden and took on the role of Designer – Colour & Trim. In her 20-plus years at Holden, under various capacities, she has worked on the local programs VT Commodore, Monaro, VE, VF and many concept cars.
Jenny has also played an important role in Advanced Colour and Trim and is currently designing for the Chinese market, with PATAC Design for SGM.
Jenny has a Bachelor of Arts in Textile Design from RMIT.