Picture shows the Volkswagen ID. CODE in front of a modern house next to a pool
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Working at Volkswagen Design:  finding the right way to turn visions into reality

Learn more about Volkswagen Design, the involved departments, the design process and the jobs we offer.

5 min read

Volkswagen is transforming the future of automotive design

Our Volkswagen Design Team is setting future trends and turns visions into reality. Driven by a passion for detail, our designers create a unique driving experience for our customers, who are always at the core of our development processes. For this, close collaboration with the Development engineers is essential. It is only when we consider form and function, design and technology together that we can achieve the perfect proportions which are the foundation of fascinating automotive concepts.

Portrait picture Andreas Mindt, Head of Volkswagen Design
Dynamic appearance and high-quality materials are what make our cars so impressive
Andreas Mindt
Head of Volkswagen Design

Brief overview

Figures on Volkswagen Design: 400 creative minds from 24 nations work at 6 locations worldwide. The proportion of women is about 25 percent
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    What we do

    In short, our designers work continuously to develop series models and impressive show cars that impress with their dynamic appearance and high-quality materials. With empathy, excitement, innovative designed and a great deal of creative finesse, we are taking Volkswagen beyond the concept of a brand to create a ‘love brand’, and thereby we are shaping the future of the automotive sector.

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    Where we work

    Our Volkswagen Design teams work in close collaboration with our six regional design studios: 

    • Wolfsburg (Germany)
    • Oxnard (USA)
    • Puebla (Mexico)
    • São Paulo (Brazil)
    • Changchun (China)
    • Shanghai (China)
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    How we work

    In the Design department, our teams use agile project management methods to ensure plans and implementation processes are as accurate and effective as possible. By using design thinking methods, we can tackle challenges with flexibility and creativity.

    Our teams are diverse and international. We also work closely with our global design studios to develop exciting ideas, designs, approaches and solutions by incorporating different cultural aspects and perspectives. For this reason, we generally use English within the team, although a wide range of other languages can also be heard.

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    Who we are looking for

    We are looking for creative minds who bring a mindset full of curiosity, passion, professionalism and ambition. Grow with us and show us what you have to offer! We offer the following opportunities for starting your career at VW:

In detail:
Working at Volkswagen Design

Throughout the development process, numerous colleagues in various design departments work hand in hand to bring together form and function and thereby design lovingly crafted Volkswagen vehicles. In addition to attention to detail, our design teams are also driven by our style-defining design DNA.

Design Management

The elaborate design process requires the development of a design strategy, its realisation and communication. In addition, the complex vehicle projects require intensive project management, financial planning and resource management. The Design Management team takes on these diverse administrative tasks across all countries and series and thereby grants the creative freedom that our creative minds need to develop new vehicles.

The Exterior Design department is responsible for the body design of all cars developed by Volkswagen around the world. Here, we are transforming the status quo across the entire spectrum of vehicle into the future.

The exterior designers at the Wolfsburg site work closely with other Volkswagen Design studios with the result that new ideas take shape through joint exchange. Although we are constantly reinterpreting and reinventing our cars, drawing inspiration from various sources, we are committed to the continuous evolution of the Volkswagen models. This continuity is our unique selling point in the volume segment. Alongside the style-defining design elements from icons such as the Beetle, Camper and Golf I, our teams also incorporate other key design features such as precision and clarity in the proposals to ensure a timeless design and therefore valuable products. At the same time, we believe in innovatively designed details, because without the dynamic light staging and interaction concepts, the unmistakable Volkswagen signature would be missing.

Our Exterior teams are supported by the Feasibility subdepartment, which is responsible for realization design drafts and models. The Feasibility team is therefore involved in the second half of the development process and translates the design drafts into a feasible production vehicle by creating high-quality data or working models. In doing so, the team works alongside the designers on site and all development partners from Volkswagen Research and Development as well as Planning and Production.

Cars are not just a means of transportation, but will - in future - become living spaces

Design process

Design is teamwork: This is what our design process looks like

In Wolfsburg the Volkswagen Design Team shapes the future of Volkswagen models all over the world, because the creative ideas are developed at the Design Center in Wolfsburg. Here, colleagues place great value on an international design that breaks out of existing patterns, incorporates the cultural attitude towards life and inspiration from different countries while anticipating megatrends. At the same time, the design development process is backed up by sound work processes that always take people's wishes into account, because at Volkswagen we put our customers at the centre of everything we do.

Inspiration and concept

Before the first line is even drawn, the content and design focus for the vehicle project is determined and the future car and context are defined. Here, it is important that the design team, together with colleagues from Research and Development, thinks ahead and defines, even at this stage, which customer are to be satisfied and what will be considered as an attractive design in the future.

At the same time, our designers gather global inspiration across various design studios. To do this, they use a range of sources and ideas previously developed for concept cars. The design teams also work with universities and young talent to generate new ideas and concepts.

Several designers work with design drafts for the ID. CODE
Initial drawing and sketch

The initial sketches of a new model are drawn by hand or computer in the Wolfsburg Design Centre. These sketches are fundamental as the designers can use them to visualise their ideas and concepts for a new model spontaneously, directly and very quickly. At this stage, our external studios are also involved, forming a creative and international network that includes all ideas and stimuli can be taken into consideration.        

Unlike in many other companies, our colleagues in the design studies are not assigned to an individual product line but are instead given the chance to contribute to every project. At our site, designers have the opportunity to prove themselves in competition with each other while also working on new models. This competition fosters the creation of diverse ideas during the design phase and ensures that Volkswagen Design utilizes the full creative potential of all teams.

However, we are not entirely free of specifications. We are, of course, required to comply with technical frameworks and specified dimensions, so that a planned SUV does not end up with the dimensions of a compact car.

Design sketch of the ID. CODE
Digital design model

The sketches are used to create renderings with accurate lines, derive initial CAD data and transform two-dimensional drawings into three-dimensional representations.

two men standing in front of a big screen with a design on it
Physical models

The 2D sketches and digital models are also brought to life at Volkswagen: our modelers now work with the designers to refine the sculpture of the physical model across numerous iterations using milling machines and manual work. Surfaces are assessed, volumes analysed and design lines developed. Without this precise work, it would not be possible to develop a truly perfect design, as the 1:1 scale representation of the big and little details is needed. This passion for detail is what sets Volkswagen apart, as colleagues in the Exterior Details division further specify the design DNA of these models via the lights and tyres. 

In addition to exterior models, colleagues in Interior and Color & Trim also work with 1:1-scale seat boxes. These interior models are then used, on the one hand, to get a better sense of the space and, on the other, to illustrate the interplay between the material and form. The designers highlight the positioning of the new model through their choice of trim combinations as well as material and colour collections. At VW, we of course use the latest digital technologies, for example, VR technology to enable our colleagues to experience the vehicle interior. 

Finally, physical and digital models also enable us to simulate the interaction with the vehicle, as the UI/UX designers’ aesthetic interfaces and specific design drafts must be in harmony with the concepts created by the interior and exterior designers.

Andreas Mindt and Volkswagen designer stand in front of a model of an ID. CODE and discuss the design

International design studios: At home throughout the world