Team Roles

Holden Design team members represent several creative disciplines.

Exterior and Interior creative designers

These designers were originally called 'stylists'. Nowadays, although the role of initiating new concepts for the appearance of vehicle exteriors and interiors remains central, their task is far more demanding.

Creative talent must be combined with an understanding of engineering principles and manufacturing processes to ensure effective and efficient design solutions. In a competitive environment, production feasibility and commercial viability become real constraints. Consideration must also be given to other influential factors, among them safety, ergonomics, environmental impact and other social issues.

Clay Modellers

Clay modellers are responsible for creating visionary and concept models for Holden and its global GM partners.

They produce 30 per cent scale exterior models from two dimensional images which are then photogrammetry-scanned for cutter path, math technical studies and digital surface modelling. Full size clay models are milled to produce size and proportion models for review.

Interior properties are developed by creating seating buck studies through to complete clay model interior environments for review and approval.

Digital Sculpting

This discipline evolved with the development of electronic surfacing software and the process delivers exterior and interior digital models.

The range of tasks includes capturing proportion and form utilising design sketches and supporting advanced design concepts through to Class A production surface models. The team works closely with designers, clay modellers and design engineers to capture the design intent.

Studio Engineering

Primary responsibilities are to define vehicle configuration, occupant location, spatial dimensions, overall vehicle dimensions and legislative compliance requirements.

This involves liaison with engineering and manufacturing departments and suppliers to ensure products retain design objectives.

Advanced Design

The brief here is to work on the development of future vehicles and undertake automotive projects that diverge from Holden's normal product portfolio.

Because a major part of the brief is to anticipate customers' changing needs, these projects often include studies of emerging market opportunities. There is an emphasis on delivering unique vehicle proposals or features to GM global brands, with a particular focus on the Asia Pacific region.

Colour and Trim design

This team fulfils a brief to design finishes for vehicle surfaces, inside and out, and to create vehicle moods. Tools of design are soft trim - fabric, leather and carpet - interior and exterior colour, decorative finishes and surface texture.

Researching trends in fashion, product, interior design and architecture and exploring design are integral to the job because colour and trim designers work at least four years before start of production.

Their designs need to be relevant and have longevity when the vehicle is finally released.

Design Fabricaton

A creative hard model specialist team supports the creation of concept and show car models for public and internal use.

It is responsible for a range of clay support activities, including armature design construction and mould making to create hard model components for interior and exterior model review. Displays are produced for development assessment of future colour, finish and grain evaluation.


The group works closely with designers to help them visualise the math model. It creates high quality digital media to understand a design, generates a large quantity of images to explore it and provides the functionality to enable it.

Basic properties of light and shade, colour and reflection are applied to the math model to simulate the real world and create photorealistic digital media - images, 3D real time models and animations. This digital media is used in initial development of proportions, major reviews, clinics, milestone presentations, differentiation, brochures and websites.

Design Quality Specialists

Design Quality and Verification drives integrity and quality of interfaces through the development of virtual and physical properties. The group assists in identifying potential issues and works to develop quality solutions.

The Perceptual Quality team is responsible for influencing the selection of materials that convey quality and excellence to the purchaser through the senses - sight, sound, touch and smell. It asks consumers what they want through surveys, clinics and general feedback, identifies 'best of best' practices and balances these against customer expectations.

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