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Designworks, A BMW Group Company


A futuristic bob-sled, designed by Designworks.

Inspiring the innovation culture of the BMW Group.

Designworks, a subsidiary of the BMW Group, is a global creative consultancy. Through its experience with clients in diverse industries, Designworks is able to bring external perspectives and creative inspiration to the BMW Group. Designworks also shares its know-how from the complex automotive sector with customers from other industries in joint innovation projects.

Designworks is a global creative consultancy with studios in North America, Europe and Asia.

Designworks’ creative output is characterised by innovation and growth. The consultancy uses the BMW Group’s “fixed star” approach: Teams focus their sights on the next ten to fifteen years to develop relevant solutions for today and tomorrow. In recent years this lead too the crystallization of the two primary focus areas "Mobility" and "Digital Lifestyle".

Welcome to BMW Group Designworks

A futuristic BMW prototype.
A futuristic BMW prototype.

A motorboot designed by Designworks.
A motorboot designed by Designworks.

A Designworks concept design for a BMW vehicle.
A Designworks concept design for a BMW vehicle.

A train designed in cooperation between Designworks and Siemens.
A train designed in cooperation between Designworks and Siemens.

Interface designs from BMW i vehicles.
Interface designs from BMW i vehicles.

Igloo created by Designworks for MINI.
Igloo created by Designworks for MINI.

Bar concept for a Boeing 787 Business Jet.
Bar concept for a Boeing 787 Business Jet.

A collage of Designworks employees at work.
A collage of Designworks employees at work.

A racing bob designed by Designworks at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
A racing bob designed by Designworks at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Designworks Shoe
Designworks Shoe


Anyone looking for visions should talk to Designworks because future scenarios built by the BMW Group subsidiary are not only creative long jumps they also dispose of longtime validity.

Jürgen Schlaht

Head of Product Portfolio Management Public Transit, Siemens AG

Did you know …

A BMW i8 with open scissor doors.

... that Designworks played a key role in the development of various BMW Group icons? In the 1998 BMW 3 Series, the BMW Z8, all X1, X3, X5 and BMW i3, i8 concept vehicles so far and many more.

A John Deere digger moving sand.

... that Designworks implements more than 200 design projects per year for clients from the aviation, rail and consumer electronics sectors?

Group photo of Designworks employees.

... that the Designworks team is made up of 28 different nationalities?

A concept sketch of the BMW i8 against a blue background. 

... that American business and innovation magazine Fast Company named Designworks the world’s most innovative design company in 2010?

milestones Designworks.

Important milestones in the history of Designworks.

Design sketch for a high-performance train.
A collage of Designworks locations in Munich, Newbury Park and Shanghai.
A BMW Art Car.
A time of growth.
Designworks studio in Malibu.

designworks – mobility beyond.

With its roots in the industrial design world, Designworks has over the course of more than forty years established itself as a world-class independent design consultancy that drives innovation. It is owned by BMW Group and is part of the company’s toolbox: an inspiring, thought-provoking studio that splits its workload between BMW Group and external clients. Here, its president Holger Hampf reflects on the studio’s ongoing influence – as well as its role in the future of the ever-changing industry of transportation and mobility.

What would you say are the key values of Designworks today, forty years after the studio launched?

The most important thing is that we stayed committed to the original plan of Designworks operating as a profit center with a split business model to the BMW Group. Working with external clients brings outside knowledge to the group, opens our horizon and means we do not only orientate towards automotive design. 

I think it is more important than ever to understand global trends and global changes at a greater scale while also being very familiar with the transformations happening in the automotive industry. That is something our external clients and partners value as well.

My goal at Designworks is to address the effects of climate change, a growing population and urban density, and to offer a positive outlook and new solutions.

Holger Hampf

President of Designworks

How important is this cross-section of different industries you work with?

It’s very important. We are seeing people leading an increasingly digital life, and connectivity is key. What matters to people is having a seamless experience between their professional and their personal life. The automotive industry is still very relevant but it is becoming more of a mobility provider. In order to do so, we have to understand the spaces and places outside of the car too.

Designworks has delivered some very successful work to many different industries in the past - healthcare, sports and consumer electronics – but we are currently in the process of focusing more on mobility-relevant topics. This is really a sweet spot of Designworks and being part of BMW Group is greatly validating our work and point of view. In the future we will be doing a lot more in this area.

So what are the next trends? What is the future of mobility and what is Designworks’ role in it?

The world is moving from an object-centric view to a user-centric view. In the future, the car will connect with a much larger ecosystem of mobility and transportation and still plays a central role in it. But this ecosystem is growing and becoming more complex all the time: People expect to seamlessly use the car to get from a suburban area to the city and then take a train or a bike for the last mile. We want to help make these connections. 

Designworks has studios in California, Munich and Shanghai. How important is this world-view?

Very. We opened our Los Angeles studio in 1972, our Munich office in 2000 and set up our third space in Shanghai in 2006. These three locations of Designworks are all strategic picks.

California has such a strong car and innovation culture. It has always been a very important place to gain insights on customer desires and needs. China is becoming a very strong market for BMW, one which is essential to understand from the inside as well.

The headquarters in Los Angeles and our studio in Shanghai both play a vital role informing the BMW Group about trends in these markets. The Munich studio at the same time is tapping into European design culture and serves as a strategic bridge to BMW in our global network. All three studios together give us a very broad perspective.

What is your mission as president of Designworks?

Quite simply, to be provocative in a positive way. My goal at Designworks is to address the effects of climate change, a growing population and urban density, and to offer a positive outlook and new solutions.

Design is a forward-thinking and visionary discipline. At Designworks, we have to react to some of the challenges out there and face them with positive energy. We are operating with a solution-oriented attitude. 


Designworks is the design innovation studio for BMW Group. As an independent studio, Designworks stimulates ambitious visions of the future through practical design strategies and explorations.

It pushes future experiences that are as relevant and ambitious as possible. Designworks is ’the architect of future’ –designing for BMW Group and other partners holistic systems that impact and improve the world we live in.

With three global studios, Designworks is a powerful tool supporting the BMW Group to be at the very forefront of design, technology and innovation.

More about Designworks.

BMW design concept viewed from above.

Designworks in the social media.