V&A Dundee

World famous car designer set to rev up audience in Dundee

Press release

17 October 2013

Ian's lecture at the University of Dundee is the second in a series of joint events hosted by Design in Action – the Arts & Humanities Research Council knowledge exchange hub based at the University of Dundee – and V&A at Dundee. The series of free events aims to enhance the reputation, status and understanding of design in modern-day Scotland and underline its potential for economic growth.

Dumfries-born Callum took the ambitious step, aged just 14, to send drawings to Jaguar and now leads the marque’s internationally renowned design team. He has been responsible for designing some of Jaguar, Aston Martin and Ford’s most iconic cars and his latest creation, the Jaguar F-TYPE, was recently crowned World Car Design of the Year 2013.

Following advice in response to his now famous letter in 1968 from the then Vice Chairman of Jaguar cars, Bill Heynes, Ian Callum gained his academic grounding in design at the School of Transportation Design in Coventry, Aberdeen Art College and Glasgow School of Art, where he graduated with a degree in Industrial Design. He subsequently went on to graduate from the Royal College of Art in London with a post-graduate Masters degree in Vehicle Design.

Having regularly collected some of the world’s most prestigious car design awards over the past years Callum attributes his success to belief in a design philosophy that accentuates dynamic visuals.

“All objects deserve to have a fascinating and dramatic visual architecture, and must work in all dimensions and from all views,” Ian Callum explains. “Our Jaguar design philosophy incorporates a simple set of principles; great proportion, beautiful lines and disciplined forms. How they manifest themselves can be very different each time, but ultimately the result must be visually exciting and unmistakeably a Jaguar.”

The designer said he was looking forward to visiting Dundee and finding out more about the city’s burgeoning creative sector.

He added, “From what I have heard, the advent of the V&A at Dundee is already helping to boost the vibrant art and design scene there, as well as the rest of the city, and having a globally recognised centre of design excellence like this as a focal point will give aspiring Scottish designers a great platform to pursue their careers in an increasingly sophisticated international design community.”

Philip Long, Director of V&A at Dundee, said, “For many years now Ian Callum has inspired both designers and motorists alike with his approach to creating cars that stand out from the crowd. He has successfully used his design ethos to change the image of some of the best known car manufacturers in the world through the cars he has delivered for them, winning scores of awards along the way.

“Ian Callum’s work is an outstanding example of the fundamental importance of good design to business success. Ian’s championing of this has made him one of the most influential designers and figures in industry today.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for the city’s audiences to hear from a remarkable character and we are sure his story will be of huge interest to both aspiring designers and ambitious businesses here in Dundee and from across Scotland.”

Professor Georgina Follett OBE, Director of Design in Action, said, “Car design is truly one of the most public forms of design. Everyone has an opinion on the way cars look and perform so to capture a public imagination and acclaim for a brand that had latterly waned and bring it back into sharp focus as a beautiful, functional and desirable object is the work of a master designer - which Ian Callum most certainly is.”

Ian Callum - A Life of Design, 6pm, Tuesday 22 October 2013, Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee, Old Hawkhill, Dundee, DD1 5EN. Tickets to this event are free, but booking is strongly advised either online at iancallum-dundee1.eventbrite.com or calling 01382 305543.