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The Geoff Lawson Studio - Jaguar Advanced Design

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The Jaguar Advanced design team

Clay modelling demonstration


F-type model
F-type clay model

Coventry, June 1, 2000 - Jaguar today officially opened the Geoff Lawson Studio dedicated to the exploration of advanced design concepts which could emerge as the Jaguars of the future. The Geoff Lawson Studio, named in memory of Jaguar’s Director of Styling who died last year, is located alongside the main Design Studio at Jaguar’s Engineering Centre at Whitley in Coventry.

The Geoff Lawson Studio is under the direction of Julian Thomson, who joined Jaguar in January to head the newly created Advanced Design department. Julian reports to Ian Callum, Jaguar’s Director of Design, who is in charge of the company’s overall design strategy.

“The aim of the Advanced Design department is to investigate the far reaching future of Jaguar design in terms of form, language, proportions and structures,” said Callum. “The brief of Julian Thomson and his team is to look at new design concepts and market niches which, far though removed from the Jaguars of today or even tomorrow, could be the realities of Jaguar’s long term future.”

Thomson, who is thirty eight, came to Jaguar from the Volkswagen Group Design Centre in Barcelona, where he was Chief Designer. Previously he was at Lotus, and led the design team that created the Elise sports car. He sees the role of the Geoff Lawson Studio very clearly. “Our job,” is to say “What if?”

The Geoff Lawson Studio, covering 1,080 square metres, features three surface plates, each with two measuring towers. These capture mathematical data from the clay properties from which electronic master surfaces are produced. This information is used to determine engineering feasibility and can be transmitted to the company’s 5-axis C.N.C. milling machines for rapid reproduction of models of any scale.

The building can house a maximum of thirty employees with support facilities including conference room and workshop, protected by a state-of-the-art security system. The viewing garden, which includes a turntable, is situated at the rear of the studio. At the end of this year, the studio facilities will be expanded to include a dedicated paint facility.

Initially, the studio will house a staff of fifteen with an average age of mid to late twenties, with around half recruited from within Jaguar. Most of the incoming staff have experience in the studios of major manufacturers in other parts of the world. Jaguar took a conscious decision to situate the Geoff Lawson Studio in Coventry at the heart of the company’s Design and Engineering Centre to achieve what Julian Thomson calls “ultimately a synergy between engineering and art.”

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