Photo by: Jurica Galoić/PIXSELL
Head of Design for BMW
Tailor of the best BMW suits
In the past, some car designers were also called “tailors of steel”. The name comes from special versions of the Ferrari, Rolls Royce and similar exclusive cars that were tailor-made for customers. Domagoj Đukec, designer of Croatian origins, knew that he wanted to work in car design at the young age of 13, when he saw a vocational guidance flyer about design studies. Having completed his secondary education, he went on to study at the acclaimed University of Pforzheim. Following his graduation, he first worked for Volkswagen, then Citroën, before transferring to the pride of Bavaria – BMW – in 2010. Since 2017th he was the Head of Design for i and M departments. As of April 2019th he has been promoted to the Head of BMW Design. Translated into fashion terminology, he is only “sewing” the best of suits. For forty years the world-famous letter M has been the crème de la crème in the Bavarian manufacturer’s offer. The M1, M3 and M5 are part of every encyclopaedia of car history; on the other hand, the letter i in the BMW language stands for the future. The i3 and i8 models definitely look like something out of SF films.
The i sub-brand has been specially designed to provoke reaction and emotion. The i3 was the first, the initial product that was supposed to give the brand its identity. It was designed to be different. If we were just to show an electrified 3 Series, people would think: “Why is this i?” The i3 did everything differently. It was designed to be a small car for big cities. We tried to make it in a completely opposite way to what is normal for BMW. That is its purpose. And it has not faded. Cars must have attitude and character. Later, the i8 arrived, which was designed to usher in a new era. The i brand is a sort of incubator of new ideas for the entire brand. BMW has always been known for technological innovation. When we introduced the turn knob to control the infotainment system in the BMW 7 series, Apple was presenting its iPod. Later, similar solution was taken over by other manufacturers, as well.
In an article I wrote for a Croatian newspaper I compared him to Nikola Tesla. He is young, brilliant and passionate. He has a vision that he promotes and he employs a lot of people. It’s not easy to start cooperating with established manufacturers, but he managed to attract their interest. He offers them knowledge about future technology, yet he is, at the same time, from a very small country. There are several dozen manufacturers in China that are looking for identity and have much greater financial capabilities, so it is a big deal that he has managed to position himself in the industry.