Question Time For The Century Man:<br/> Ask Mr Aston Martin

Last month we sat down with Rocket Bunny mastermind Kei Miura, to ask him the questions that you, the Speedhunters readers, wanted answered. We were overwhelmed with the array of questions you guys came up with, so while Miura-san is working on some responses we’ve decided to pick another victim. How about the man who has the responsibility of designing for the one of the most iconic automotive companies there is, Aston Martin?

The Aston Martin headquarters and production line at Gaydon in the UK

Yes, the next person we’ve lined up for a Q&A session is none other than Marek Reichman, Aston Martin’s Director Of Design and one of the most influential automotive designers out there.

The Centenary Celebration event at Kensington Gardens, London, bringing together the largest collection of Aston Martins n history to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the company

It’s easy to forget that Aston Martin are a small privately-owned company, because despite no longer having corporate muscle behind them they’ve really thrived in the modern era. Car production has increased exponentially in the last decade, in model numbers as well as sales.

The Aston Martin headquarters and production line at Gaydon in the UK

In 2000, Aston Martin had two production models; now they have over a dozen plus derivatives. We’ve seen incredible cars like the One-77 hypercar and CC100 concept emerge under Marek’s direction.

The 2013 Aston Martin Owner's Club Festival at Brands Hatch, celebrating the centenary of Aston Martin, 6-7 June 2013

Responsibility must weigh heavily when you’re in charge of a brand with a 100-year history behind it and some of the most beautiful cars ever produced in its portfolio. Yet, modern Aston Martins are still instantly recognisable as Aston Martins and Marek’s the man with the responsibility to make it all work.

The Aston Martin headquarters and production line at Gaydon in the UK

Marek qualified with a First Class Honours Degree in Industrial Design and studied Vehicle Design at the Royal College of Art in London, before working for Land Rover, BMW and Ford on his way to his current post, which he started in 2005. He still keeps an eye on the colleges and up-and-coming designers, looking out for the next generation, and his office is awash with models, materials, imagery and more – all the disparate things that go to influence a top-level designer.

The Aston Martin headquarters and production line at Gaydon in the UK

So do you want to know about how Marek’s runs his 50-strong design studio? The processes and technology? What materials he likes working with and where he gets his inspiration? Or how he treads that fine line between Aston Martin’s rich heritage and keeping relevant?

The 2013 running of the Nürburgring 24 hours, May 16-21

Next week I’ll be heading up to Aston Martin’s HQ in the UK to sit down with Marek and hit him with your questions, so get thinking and post your questions in the comments.

Jonathan Moore
Instagram: speedhunters_jonathan



Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

Reason why i love your style jonathan is you have the ability to capture the essence of whatever you do coverage of. your work along with larry chen are my 2 biggest influences in my media career...


Question: How do they come up with new colours? I find it most intriguing how car designers can keep coming up with new hues and patterns/fabrics for the interior of cars, and it determines how a vehicle comes across(flashy/agressive/understated etc.)



How long did it take and what was the process involved to come to a conclusion in choosing the iconic silhouette where you thought to yourself, "Yes, that's it. That's the shape which should define all Aston Martins"? Were there any other initial designs which looked or may have looked completely different to the current defining shape? If there were could you give some examples?


Need more! What are his thoughts on Ford pretty much ripping off the Aston look? Also, what shotgun do those pieces on his desk go to?


Aston Martin: Please redo the One-77 with a SLS gearbox...


I'm a mechanical engineer and in my industry(turbine engines) function always comes first and I've never had the opportunity to work with an industrial designer. What is it like from the design side to work with engineers who have to make everything fit sort of beneath the skin you create?


Can you tell us, how hard or easy was to became a designer for Aston Martin? What you have made to get it, what sacrifices and how was the experience? Do you believe everyone can became a good great designer, or is limited only to someones?


Are there any inspirations that influenced the gorgeous design of the One-77?


What do you sketch with?

What is that one car you can look at and it always puts a smile on your face?

Also, did you design the stock set on your desk?


When dealing with a brand identity like Aston Martin, with so much heritage, how do you know when you can break the mold in design terms? How do you know where to draw the line to make original and innovative design or keep something obviously "Aston Martin"?


My country has zero universities that specialize in car design. It has courses for mechanics only. I myself graduated in graphical Design, worked with book covers, comic books and the lot, and now i am making a big bold move to start customizing cars and trying to live a life i love. That said,  is there a tip or is there bibliography you could recommend on reading a model`s factory lines and re-interpreting them? (like, for example, when you create the next gen of an existing model in aston lineup)


Mr. Reichman how do you plan to keep the Aston Martin heritage and uniqueness alive and not have the company become a generic brand that produces mere appliances?


Mr. Reichman, what do you think is the most beautiful car NOT designed by you?

BiTurbo from oppo

First and foremost I have to congratulate you for creating some of the most beautiful cars of the modern era, if not of all time. I truly believe that the V8 Vantage is the modern E-Type in style, performance and sheer desirability.
Now, the question. What plans are afoot to replace the V8 Vantage, and provided there will be a replacement, what sort of design direction are you taking it in? Will it be a subtly altered version of the current design, much like the Vanquish is to the DB9, or will you be treading new ground?
Also, do you see Aston's current design language enduring and evolving over a good few years, or can you see a departure in the not-too-distant future?

BiTurbo from oppo

Oh, and what's your best car-related story? Always a good one :)


Mr. Reichman, what is your favorite feature to design on a car? Where/what do you draw (no pun intended) your inspiration from as you design a vehicle? When not doing design work, what is an interest or hobby that you enjoy? What is one thing that you can share with Speedhunters that would be unique only to this interview?


Mr. Reichman, if you were to work for another car company, of your own choosing and you have to chose one, which would it be?


Hi Marek,

In your opinion, where do good ideas / concepts come from?
and... I hold a degree in interior / environmental design, and I am about to focus on the interior of the car for honours.  Is it compulsory I attend a transport design school to be considered as an automotive designer?  I have a true passion for automobiles, but not for the university bills!

Warm regards,


How does it feel to take up the helm of Aston Martin design after heavyweight designers like Henrik Fisker and Ian Callum? Do you feel pressure from filling those shoes or relief from knowing theyve laid out the foundation for Aston Martin design and have left you a beautiful portfolio to work with?
Would you ever see yourself opening your own design studio a la pininfarina or your own car company a la Fisker Automotive?


What inspires you when you create these pieces of art? Do you have any role models that you look up to? Top Gear, yay or nay?


Marek, what cars do you currently have in your own stable?


Mr. Reichman, 

It has been a life long dream of mine to design and build cars, Aston Martins being my ultimate goal. I am going to be attending university in the near future, what program would you best recommend? Any advice you can give to be successful? 

Much thanks.


Mr. Reichman,
Do you always maintain a high standard for life thus be able to such beautiful cars?



How would you describe the emotions you're trying to evoke through your designs?


why no turbo engine for mass production engine?


Currently doing product design myself , my passion has always been car design though.
I was wondering how did you make that transition from industrial design to car design? Because I know the RCA is the most renown college for design but how did they accept you for automotive design when you were a product designer? A bit more information on this would be greatly appreciated
Thank you

curious person

why do all the AM cars look the same?


What car was your biggest challenge in designing.


Mr Marek Reichman,
What are you self-consious about when you draw your designs? Looks? Aerodynamics?


The DB-9 and all following variants are incredibly beautiful cars, however following the release of the Jaguar F-Type, combined with the fact the current AM look is over 10 years old now (as well as the chassis it sits on), and AM sales have been slowing over the last year or so. 

Do you think that the AM brand and look is in need of a significant update? Will we see a new design language in the next few years?


What is your favorite Aston Martin?  What car is your daily driver?  What cars do you currently have in your collection? What was your first car?  What is your favorite sports car?  What is your favorite race car?  What items, that are not related to automobiles, do you admire/appreciate for their design?  Which designers do you admire, auto designers as well as non-auto designers?


I agree. How do you feel about Ford pretty much ripping your design off? Are you flattered? Or are you disappointed?


Which non-Aston Martin cars do you appreciate the designs of? And where do you see Aston Martin design going in the future?


What is your technology goals in future for Aston? Seems majority of premium automotive segment is going into full-carbon/turbo-engine/electric-hybrid path. Is Aston to follow ???


Leaving aside rear and mid mount engines, cars are pretty constrained to having a bonnet line that fits an internal combustion engine, frontal area that allows enough air flow for radiators, intercoolers etc, the list goes on...

I'd love to hear your thoughts on where you see design going as these constraints are removed and new ones are added by other power units. Will it start to change, or do you think it will always stay close to the shapes we have now, like the Model S has done for example.


With Mercedes Benz having a percentage of Aston Martin, how will that affect the future of Aston Martin car design?


Mr Marek why most of Aston martins are so understated ? make an Aston martin which is pure shape but inspired by one-77 and cc100.