Ford has given its Australian design studio a $12 million makeover with the intent of employing up to 200 Melbourne-based designers who will work on Ford vehicles destined for Australian and global markets.
Ford released photos of the expanded facility today, and intends to invest yet another $2.3 million into new studio technology before 2021 is over.
The redesign continues Ford’s ongoing investment into Australia, where more than 2500 of the company’s engineers, designers, technical and automotive specialists are based. '
Ford remains as Australia’s largest automotive employer.
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Australian architecture firm Genton was contracted to complete the works, which doubled the footprint of the studio to offer a brighter, well-lit facility. Genton’s approach was said to mimic the ‘museum design philosophy’ which is intended to create sections that complement each other, rather than compete for outright space.
Ford’s Melbourne-based design director Max Wolff said the building’s improvements were aimed at keeping the facility contemporary and cutting-edge, with the technologies required to design the vehicles of tomorrow.
“[The building] has been structured around supporting our design process and team, enabling them to work in a modern, creative environment,” Wolff said.
It adds 100 new workstations, an extended clay workshop with full-size model capabilities.
It also has a private naturally-lit indoor courtyard where top-secret designs can be studied in the light of day.
The last time the Ford Design Studio in Melbourne was restyled was the 1970s, so renovations were well overdue.
In the past, it was responsible for the designs of the XA Falcon, XA Falcon, FG Falcon and the Territory SUV.
Ford invested $500 million into research and development in Australia last year and says it's on track to spend a similar amount in 2021.