When Xiaoyin Li conceptualizes a new vehicle or product, he reaches beyond sleek styling and superior function. He envisions how his ideas could change the experience of driving as we know it.
"You could say my approach to design is very 'CCS,' or 'Chrysler,' maybe," said Li, originally from Nanjing, China. "My experiences in the USA absolutely formed my approach to design the most... CCS's graduate program is different from undergraduate programs in transportation design. This program not only sharpened our skills as designers, but also instilled in us a more complete understanding of design beyond aesthetics. Each individual part of the design process (marketing analysis, target user analysis, business studies) plays an integral role in the progression of our work into the future.
"The projects I worked on during my internship at Chrysler were all exciting as well; taking advantage of this opportunity really enhanced my skills and understanding of the industry. This is the experience that helped me to grow the fastest in my roles as a designer."
Compact pickup trucks, enhanced autonomous driving, emotional brand positioning and more interactive interiors are only a few of Li's recent projects. He works as a freelance automotive/product designer and considers the business aspects of the MFA program to be one of its most practical features.
"CCS's graduate program is meeting the industry's need for more talented professionals with deeper roots in the design process and polished skills," said Li. "But I also believe it can further students' careers in design or dreams of becoming entrepreneurs. The business practices I learned in the MFA program have become more and more helpful to my career as a freelance designer…
"This year's projects took a lot time. I'm still working on them and making great progress. Right now, I'm working on an automotive interior design project with the Nanjing Arts Institute. The digital rendering is 90 percent done, and I'm now working on the 3D model to be made as a 1:4 physical model. I'm also putting the finishing touches on its exterior and interaction design. I'm very excited about the upcoming results."
Passionate about cars, motorbikes, art and photography, Li appreciates having a fulfilling career in a field he enjoys.
"As a designer, it's nice to have my own living style with my own taste," he said. "But the best part of my career is I love what I do!"
To view more of Li's work, check out http://behance.net/xiaoyinli.
- Freelance Auto/Product Designer