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Unpredictable, unexpected, unconventional – an interview with Datsun executive design director Kei Kyu

YOKOHAMA, Japan – Kei Kyu is executive design director of Datsun, a position to which he was appointed in April 2016. In this role, Kyu says his objective is to create a certain team spirit in a group of individuals with a proactive mindset who like challenges, who are good at analysis and who can offer a wide variety of thoughts and considerations. Recently at the Datsun studio – an open space where the interaction and exchange of new ideas among all team members is a common, everyday exercise – Kyu explained how he began his career and what inspires him to create beautiful cars.

Q1: You graduated from the College of Art and Design at Musashino Art University’s Department of Industrial Design and joined Nissan in 1991. What made you become a car designer?
Kyu: My passion for design began in childhood. When I was a kid, everyone in Japan was mad about supercars – Ferrari, Porsche and Lamborghini. People would buy photos of cars just to keep and look at, and I was one of them! The Countach LP400 was deeply imprinted on my memory. Marchello Gandini’s design stunned me. The car was amazing; it was so elegant and had such presence. I was also very impressed by the Nissan Silvia (S13) and Fairlady Z (Z32), and I’m sure those experiences determined how I finally made the decision to become a car designer. And I’m still working in this industry today (smiles). Although I’m no longer designing – I’m now much more of a director or producer – my role is to stimulate people to have the good idea.

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