Unveiled on the eve of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the Buick Avista finally shows a design language and vehicle type that lives up to its “That’s not a Buick!” tagline.
Maybe that’s because its two designers, John McDougall and Aaron Stich, were both in their youthful 20’s at the time of its conception. But, these two weren’t originally assigned to head the Avista project, according to Mashable.
Leapfrogging GM’s traditional design process of U.S. design studio creates and designs an idea and then sends it out to a different global studio (a process that takes several months), McDougall and Stich completed the project in just two weeks.
Beyond their assigned sketches of the exterior and interior, these two men decided to further develop their vision of the Avista. After finishing the interior’s design, the team went ahead on coming up with names, logos, branding techniques, even a computer-aided design (CAD) for the concept — all without being asked. The team went so far as creating their own design for the Avista’s infotainment interface to match the rest of the car’s design.
After their allotted two weeks were up, instead of sending their assigned sketches off to another global design studio, Stich and McDougall made sure their design was seen. Lining the walls of the design studio with all their sketches while having their CAD rendering rotating on the studio’s computer monitor, Stich and McDougall got the attention of Andrew Smith, then-chief of Buick design and now Cadillac’s design head.
Labeling the team’s approach as a “mutiny,” Smith gave them an additional two weeks to put the final touches on their sketches before being presented to Ed Welburn, GM vice president of global design.
“Wow,” Welburn said after seeing the pair’s final design, according to Mcdougall. Welburn even labeled their vision of the Avista as his “favorite Buick of his career.”
Stich and McDougal said they were inspired by late 60’s Buck Rivieras and beaches — yes those places with sand and water. This is especially apparent in the interior with a 3D printed texture on the shifter and the perforation pattern on the leather seats. The door panels are also said to have the fluidity of a sand dune.
Since Stich and McDougal’s success, GM is showing more trust in the team by assigning them bigger projects from the start.
Although there’s no confirmation that Buick will ever put this sexy coupe into production, the design language may serve as preview to Buick’s future design language.