Nissan Celebrates 25 Years of Design in North America; Nissan Design America Redesigns Studio and unveils Nissan-designed Airstream Trailer
With an entirely redesigned studio space, Nissan Design America (NDA) is preparing for its next 25 years of design leadership.
“In partnering with Airstream, we are able to stretch and apply our design cues to a company already known as a leader in its category.”
Today, NDA opens the doors to its La Jolla operation, showing off the newly redesigned studios and unveiling the BaseCamp, Airstream's newest lightweight, aluminum-based trailer designed by Nissan.
"When we opened our doors in La Jolla 25 years ago, we knew North America was a key market for Nissan to establish design operations," said Shiro Nakamura, senior vice president and design director, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and president, Nissan Design America. "I am proud of NDA's unique culture that has spawned many vehicles with creative and distinctive design over the years, and am encouraged by the non-automotive projects such as Airstream that continue to flex our creative and design imaginations. These endeavors underscore the immense talent we have here at NDA and the bright future we have in North America."
Redesigning a Design Studio
NDA understood the necessity of providing a stimulating surrounding that can adapt to the flexibility of the design process and provoke interesting projects. It sought to create a new environment to address the changing attitudes of design development. To develop the new studio, NDA hired Ken Ronchetti, principal of Ronchetti Design and the original architect of the facility, to guide the overall concept of the new design while honoring the original structure. Luce et Studio Architects was also appointed to create the unique and thought provoking concept. The redesign includes open architecture to reflect the creative design process as well as new materials, colors, and textures to balance the mechanical with the personal.
"Nissan's innovative approach to design inspired us to create spaces equally inventive and compelling," said Jennifer Luce, principal of Luce et Studio Architects. "Our work with Nissan has taught us the how to blend the industrial nature of the automotive process with the human desire to be surrounded by a rich and stimulating environment."
Unique Inspirations, Extraordinary Designs
Since first establishing operations in 1980, NDA has been responsible for the designs of several significant vehicles, including the 350Z, the original Xterra, the original Pathfinder, the Infiniti J30, the Nissan Quest and several concept cars. Their designs continue to play a pivotal role in Nissan operations, most recently contributing to the full-size Nissan Titan pick-up truck, Armada SUV and the Infiniti QX56.
While NDA's focus is on automobiles, it has adopted a philosophy that encourages designers to work on projects outside of the automotive industry to stimulate creativity in their automotive designs. These design projects include boats, furniture, golf clubs and, most recently, the Airstream BaseCamp.
"In the highly competitive market of car design, encouraging our designers to draw inspiration from different media provides them with exceptional tools for future vehicle designs," said Bruce Campbell, vice president of Nissan Design America. "In partnering with Airstream, we are able to stretch and apply our design cues to a company already known as a leader in its category."
The Airstream BaseCamp, making its worldwide debut today at NDA, is a micro-light tent-trailer hybrid set to create a new standard in trailer travel. Designed by Nissan, it blends the convenience of RV travel with the versatility of car camping. The BaseCamp is the first of its kind offering a whole new level of versatility, durability and comfort for today's adventurer.
"Our collaboration with Nissan on the BaseCamp has been a completely unique experience, and a lot of fun," said Bob Wheeler, vice president of product development and engineering at Airstream. "The creativity and vision of NDA combined with the rich heritage of the Airstream brand has created a product that is a great blend of beauty and function."
About Nissan North America, Inc.
In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.nissanusa.com or contact the corporate media line at 310-771-5631.
The first Airstreams, now known for their high-quality riveted aluminum shells and state-of-the-art interiors, were built in 1931 by Wally Byam. With the release of its 2006 models, Airstream begins the celebration of its 75th Anniversary. Airstream, a subsidiary of Thor Industries Inc. since 1980, is world renowned for quality, innovation and design. The company continues that legacy today with world-class travel trailers, motorhomes and services. For additional information about Airstream, please visit www.airstream.com or call 937-596-6111.