Maximilian Missoni on his life as Head of Design at Polestar
This weekend Polestar, the electric performance car brand from Sweden, opens its first three Polestar Spaces in the Netherlands. In these retail environments in Rotterdam, Eindhoven and Leidschendam, the Dutch public can meet Polestar 2 for the first time. The fourth Space will open later this year near Amsterdam. Polestar is moving forward towards a more sustainable future and believes electric vehicles are a crucial step on this journey.
These ‘physical’ Spaces are designed to match the minimalist and innovative design philosophy of the brand. Customers can discover the Polestar 1 and Polestar 2 in many different ways; through interactive displays with touchscreens or with Varjo virtual reality that matches the resolution of the human eye. For questions they can always contact Polestar Specialists that, interestingly, do not work on commission basis.
The Polestar 2, which will debut in the Netherlands this weekend, is a fully electric performance fastback. It is also the first car in the world with an integrated Android infotainment system, which means access to Google services such as Google Maps and voice recognition. As Polestar is working towards a sustainable future, the brand created it’s interior out of recycled and vegan materials.
Maximilian Missoni is the Head of Design at Polestar. Maximilian Missoni studied Vehicle Design at the Royal College of Art in London then started his career at the Volkswagen Group. In 2018 he became Head of Design for Polestar.
Being Head of Design of a progressive super design brand we are extremely curious: What does a day in the life of Maximilian Missoni look like?
It’s probably more down to earth than you’d imagine. We work on many future car models simultaneously and the development process of such complex technological products – especially when aiming at a mass production volume can be very tedious at times. I spend probably two thirds of my days in dark rooms with life size projections or virtual reality rigs where we assess proposals and designs, implementing improvements. I also spend a lot of time in intense discussions with engineering about how to get to the desired results. The remaining third would split into team development, management meetings and strategic tasks. It feels like there is never enough time to just roam and find inspiration.
How do you keep inspired when handling a brand like Polestar?
The biggest task when setting up the design language for a new brand as a team is to distill philosophy and values into three dimensional objects and ultimately products that people want to live with. I see it as my main task to identify great ideas that emerge within the design team and develop them into a stage where we can present them and convince the rest of the management team to support this vision. I have handpicked the guys and girls in my team and have done so because I believe in their individual talent and unique styles. So, they are actually the ones who often inspire me. Coming into work every morning, knowing there is a bunch of highly skilled and creative people who are all keen to shape the future is probably my biggest privilege. On top of that I immerse myself whenever I can into contemporary art and design. And I try to keep learning – lately everything about electric propulsion and the challenges and opportunities of sustainability or even circularity – our next frontier.
What's your home like? Do you practice what you preach?
I try to surround myself with furniture design classics and art that inspires me. Would I like to expand this collection? Absolutely. The one object which probably reflects my design ethos the most – besides the cars of our own brands which I drive – is my boat, designed by a Swedish boat designer and friend of mine, who I studied with back in the days. Its clever, Scandinavian, minimalistic solutions make me happy time and time again.
3,5 We just have to ask… are you perhaps related to the (fashion) Missoni dynasty?
The name Missoni is generally not very common, and the origins of the wider family tree are in northern Italy, but I wouldn’t go further than that.