Whether you love the work of Chris Bangle or hate it, this much is clear: after a career in the automotive industry spanning 28 years, it’s awfully hard to ignore the influence Bangle has had on modern automotive designs.
Best known for his aggressive (and controversial) redesigns of BMW’s E65 7-Series and E60 5-Series, Bangle was also the stylist behind BMW’s previous-generation Z4 roadster, which industrial designer Marc Newon once described as “having been designed with a machete.”
Bangle is also responsible for more conservative (but equally iconic) designs, and he was the man behind the new MINI and Rolls-Royce’s Ghost and Phantom models. His designs, for better or for worse, proved popular with the public, and BMW displaced Mercedes-Benz as the leading luxury car marque during Bangle’s tenure.
To honor his work in the automotive industry, the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology (and no, we’re not making this up) will present Bangle with its 2012 Lifetime Design Achievement Award during its Eyes On Design week in June 2012. Previous award winners include Sergio Pininfarina, Walter de’Silva, Tom Gale, Giorgetto Giugiaro and Shiro Nakamura, and new recipients of the annual award are chosen only by previous winners.