Bangle’s Big Idea

Interview with Chris Bangle
Design is all about installing character and personality in the important creations of our life.

From cars to crystals – it may not sound like a logical step, but for designer extraordinaire Chris Bangle it’s not as unlikely as it first seems. “I never believed that car design was only about fourwheeled mobility,” he explains. “Design is all about installing character and personality in the important creations of our life.”

Bangle – famed for his work with BMW and Rolls-Royce – is behind the new Swarovski loose crystals collection, launched in February 2017 and titled ‘Illusions’. “Designers are very concerned with visual perception – how we see things – and there is a great artistic tradition of the faux perspective in art, entertainment and even design,” he says.

Interview with Chris Bangle
The finished products of his new crystal cuts for Swarovski.

“Swarovski crystals are true geometry made brilliant,” Bangle continues, “and the idea of creating the same sense of pureness, with a shape that surprisingly changes when you move your head, was irresistible. In car design we struggle with the fact that the object we design becomes predictable: each side the same, symmetries everywhere. Often, with one look, you feel as if you have seen it all.
Here, with the crystals, we had the chance to create provocative personality that does not remain fixed or predictable: is it a cube or isn’t it a cube?”

The result is three new crystal shapes – the tilted dice, tilted spike and tilted chaton – to be used in creative projects, from jewelry and fashion to design and beyond. The possibilities are endless. “I hope the same fascination for the unexpected shapes we discovered in these crystal Illusions and their false perspectives is found by Swarovski customers, as well,” Bangle says. “Perhaps they may see a bit of the changing dynamic of their own personality reflected back to them.”