Citroen designer Gilles Vidal seeks inspiration for his work by visiting places such as the Palais de Tokyo, a new museum in Paris that is devoted to cutting-edge contemporary art.
"Today's art is no longer about craft; it's a vision of society which we soak in, more or less consciously," he says. "We designers are blending machines."
The 33-year-old Frenchman uses the input to inspire himself and others. Before taking his current job Vidal was managing Citroen's young designers.
Leading a team is something he would like to do again.
Name: Gilles Vidal.
Title: Citroen chief designer, head of concept cars and brand imaging.
Education: Degree in transportation design from the Art Center College of Design's campus in Vevey. Switzerland.
What do you drive?
A Citroen C4 coupe.
What misconception do people have about your job?
Often they believe we are pure artists. But we have to work with cost and manufacturing constraints.
Which cars do you wish you designed?
The Bugatti Atlantic.
What didn't they teach you about your job in design school?
That designing a car involves three teams -- design, engineering and marketing -- that must be on equal footing. A car with too much input from engineers risks looking like a box. A car where designers had the upper hand can be too elitist. A car in which marketers had too much influence can be ugly because it will have functionalities that have been pushed to the extreme.
Finish this sentence: When it comes to car design pedestrian safety rules:
Can trigger novel ideas. For instance, the C4's boomerang-shaped front lights resulted from pedestrian safety rules.