“I've been dreaming of designing cars since I was 5 years old”

- Geoffrey Decembry (27), Exterior Designer at Hyundai Motor, belongs to the young team of designers responsible for the design of the New Generation i30.

He grew up in Belgium and studied in Paris at the Strate School for Design. Previously part of the Design Team of the European Design Centre in Germany for three years, he now works for Hyundai Motor’s Advanced Design Studio in Seoul.

Geoffrey Decembry (27), Exterior Designer at Hyundai Motor

Geoffrey, tell us what led you to become a car designer.

Since I was five I have dreamed of designing cars. At that age I began sketching designs and have never stopped since! Even today sketches play an important role in my creative process. And my dream came true when I was selected to create the specific character and design of the New Generation i30, my first production car. I feel very lucky that I had the opportunity very early in my career – this is very rare in the automotive industry.

Give us some insight into your creative process. How did you start designing the i30?

When I start a new project, I focus on the design direction we defined for the car and I start drawing small pen sketches about 10 cm in size. For one or two weeks I sketch and sketch. That way, I get many different ideas and designs. Then I put them on a five meter wall and we choose the ones that have the most potential. 

Can you explain the design concept for the New Generation i30?

With the New Generation i30 we have sought to design a sophisticated, timeless car with a design that will endure for many years. At the same time, we wanted to show that the Hyundai brand is changing and is making premium design accessible to everyone – based on our Modern Premium brand positioning. The new i30 embodies this progressive spirit of our brand and is entirely designed in Europe. The design is showing a structured clarity with an authentic feel.

What are the highlights of the design?

The sophisticated design is based on precise lines and conveys emotions by rich and distinctive surfaces. We set out to achieve premium proportions – a sleek, sporty silhouette, a long bonnet with an upright grille and the set-back A-pillar – without compromising either interior spaciousness or visibility. A key feature is the new Cascading grille that is more sculpted, sensual and clear and will be the signature look for the Hyundai family of cars. The side profile balances stable and dynamic lines. The main character line forms a beautiful wave running from the headlamp all the way to the rear lamp. The rear conveys a feeling of width and confidence, enhanced by the unique position of the fog lamps. This clean design represents our growing maturity and confidence – a design that is unmistakable on the road.

The New Generation i30 is the new people’s car. How did you ensure that the design reflects this?

Most importantly, the i30 Hatchback belongs to the new i30 family which will comprise distinctive versions in the future. Each was designed with its own character and its own personality to meet all possible requirements. In addition, the sleek and sporty silhouette does not compromise the interior spaciousness or visibility, but instead gives a premium feel. Therefore, yes, I strongly believe that we delivered a great C-segment car for everybody.

Thank you for your time, Geoffrey.

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