November 12, 2002 - At an award ceremony in Berlin this Thursday, the Raymond Loewy Foundation will present its Designer Award to Patrick le Quément, Renault's Senior Vice President of Corporate Design, for his life's work.
The jury of the Foundation and its President, Michael Erlhoff, cite that their reason for selecting Patrick le Quément to receive the Designer Award 2002 was that "Patrick le Quément has a very contemporary vision of design as both a coordination and communications skill, and as a form of teamwork in the very best sense of the term, which aims to fuse an economically motivated form of pragmatism with a utopian society or at least a justified vision of one, and in doing so lends new and realistic dimensions to design".
The Raymond Loewy Foundation was created in Hamburg in 1991 and aims to raise public awareness of design by making it an integral part of contemporary life. The Designer Award has been presented to a broad range of individuals from different fields, such as Karl Lagerfeld (1993), Peter Lindbergh (1996), Bruno Sacco (1997), and Ingo Maurer (2000).
If you ask Patrick le Quément which of his designs means the most to him, the response is immediate: "Renault Design". Since 1988 Renault Design has borne his unmistakable signature: 'different and ahead of its time'.
"Come up with a strong concept whenever possible, and with a distinctive style in all cases" were the instructions of Louis Schweitzer, CEO of Renault. Taking this as his source of motivation, Patrick le Quément has asserted the image of Renault Design and has overseen the development of the Twingo (1992), Scénic (1996), Kangoo (1997) and more recently the new Renault luxury car range with Avantime (2001), Vel Satis (2002) and Espace IV (2002).
Mégane II (2002) also brings Renault's daring styling to the more traditional mid-range segment. A number of concept cars, which were both test beds for new ideas and showcases for the latest trends, will also remain engraved in peoples' minds: Argos (1994) with its pure and simple design had an influence throughout the automotive design industry. Initiale (1995) and Vel Satis (1998) also helped to launch the new visual identity of the brand and to inaugurate Renault's new top of the range.
The 'Touch Design' concept was unveiled on Talisman (2001), and has now been applied on production versions of Mégane II. The Ellypse (2002) reveals a new way of designing cars with a view to sustainable development.
Renault Corporate Design currently has 350 employees, from 22 countries, including around 100 designers. It is based at the Renault Technocentre on the outskirts of Paris. Corporate Design reports directly to the Chairman, which is testament to the overwhelming importance that the brand attributes to design.
After graduating from the Birmingham Institute of Art & Design in 1966, Patrick le Quément started his career as an automotive designer at Simca. In 1968, he was taken on at Ford where he remained for 17 years, moving up through the ranks. In 1985, he founded the Strategic and Advanced Design Centre for the Volkswagen group and remained in charge of this for the next two years.
In 1987, the Chairman of Renault asked him to take over as head of the company's Design department. At the end of 1994, he became Senior Vice President for Quality and Corporate Design. In 1999, after the Renault-Nissan agreement was signed, Chairman Louis Schweitzer asked him to devote his attentions once more exclusively to design, both for Renault and Nissan in order to bring greater creativity to both brands in the shortest possible timeframe.
Patrick le Quément has received many honours, including the Grand Prix National de la Création Industrielle in France in 1992, and a Doctorate from University of Central England in Great Britain in 1996. He is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle in Paris.
Full access from just $11/month