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FoMoCoNews.Com Designer Series: Ms. Chelsia Lau
Ford Motor Company designer Ms. Chelsia Lau has been responsible for such vehicles as the Ford Explorer Sport Trac and 2008 Lincoln Navigator. Ms. Lau came to the limelight when in 2006 she won the World's Outstanding Chinese Designer award which is a part of Business of Design Week in Hong Kong.

Lau got her start drawing pictures in her parent's restaurant in Hong Kong. Noticing her artistic ability, her parents took her to a tutor every week outside of her usual schoolwork. After graduating from the Lee Wai Lee Technical Institute with a degree in product design, Lau made the leap to the United States by attending the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif.
While in Pasadena, she took an internship with Ford. It was during those three months of training that she discovered her passion for automotive design.
"I would say it was a turning point,” says Law, “because I could see how different a studio operates, and see how at different stages you take an idea or theme and make it into a production vehicle."
Lau officially joined Ford in 1992 and has been responsible for several key vehicles, including the Mercury MC4 and Ford Explorer SportTrac concepts, both of which debuted at the North American International Auto Show.
In terms of design, it's all about the customer, according to Lau. She believes that the vision comes first in design, with designers always looking a few years down the road for their next design.
"I think people are seeking something that is really well beyond their basic transportation needs," says Lau. "I think to really stand out from the crowd, to be successful, we really need to emphasize the design. Not only does it give you a sharp identity of the brand, but at the same time it gives that feeling of the unique individual."
Lau is enthusiastic about things to come, especially the notion of helping young designers break into the automotive design business.
"I hope to inspire the younger people, to engage them, share with them some of my experiences, my struggles and my successes," says Lau. "I also would like to take the opportunity to help contribute and promote design."
The World's Outstanding Chinese Designer award honors a talented designer of Chinese heritage who has displayed superb ability, attained great achievements within their own discipline, and devoted themselves to the furthering of design.
The Hong Kong Design Centre, a non-profit organization, was formed in 2001 to drive Hong Kong to become a highly competitive, internationally recognized source of innovative products and design talents. Its goal is to become the design information center of Hong Kong, to highlight Hong Kong as an innovation center for China, to promote Hong Kong as a design hub of Asia, and to link design centers and organizations worldwide.

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I think her designs are poralizing. Not exactly outstandingg. Perhaps its the execution, but I would not call her final products exactly class leading
 

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She sure is using a wide piece of tape to accentuate that big hood panel gap.

Ok is it being suggested that she is the one responsible for that brace face chrome sewer grille on the Navigator?


 

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Is she the Navigator front end designer???? AHHHHHHHH !!!! Now i understand why the ultra-complex and outrageos ligth and grille pastiche.....Is an asian style!!!! not bad, at all, but not simple ....May ( and should ) be better and more elegant .
 

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Is she the Navigator front end designer???? AHHHHHHHH !!!! Now i understand why the ultra-complex and outrageos ligth and grille pastiche.....Is an asian style!!!! not bad, at all, but not simple ....May ( and should ) be better and more elegant .
That sounded racist. Not nice at all.

I hope is just a consequence of the language barrier.
 

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I always thought the Navigator Chrome looked like overdone 50's in its new iterlation. I prefer the older face. More classy
 

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It's neat that you're doing stories on Ford designers. Is she
going to join the forum now, too?;) That'd be cool,
we actually have a pretty cool design section for a forum
our size. I'm afraid I'm not a fan of the new Navigator's grille,
it's not very elegant in my opinion, but her story is interesting
nonetheless.
:cool:
 

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MC4: Great concept car IMO, one of the best from Mercury in years.

Explorer Sport Trac: I think the current Explorer is, unfortunately, a bit uninspired. But the Sport Trac version is pretty well executed considering the starting point and I would consider owning one.

Navigator: To be blunt, terrible. In every way a stylistic retrograde step from its predecessor.

Just my thoughts on the issue. Ford seems to have been going through an era of hit or miss with its designers in recent years. Take J. Mays for example. The man is obviously a genius with vehicles like the F150 and Mustang being so incredibly spot on in their most recent incarnations that you could legitmately wonder how they could be made significantly better. However, all that you need to do is to take look at the Thunderbird to instantly realize he is indeed a mere mortal like the rest of us. How did the man who tended excelllent designs like the Mustang and F150 get the Thunderbird so terribly wrong? And of those three vehicles the Thunderbird was likely the most stylistically driven!

I suppose we all have our off days.
 
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