Lowie Vermeersch (born May 9, 1974 in Kortrijk, Belgium) is a Flemish designer, part of the third generation of a prominent artistic family. He is the Founder & Creative Director of Granstudio in Turin, Italy.
Previously, he held the position of Design Director at Pininfarina. Some of his notable design works are the concept cars Pininfarina Sintesi, Alfa Romeo 2uettottanta, Pininfarina B0 and Pininfarina Nido.
Lowie Vermeersch was born on May 9, 1974 in Kortrijk, Belgium. He is part of a prominent Flemish artistic family. His grandfather, José Vermeersch (1922-1997), was one of the most important Flemish sculptors of the post-war period. His father, Rik Vermeersch (1949), and Lowie Vermeersch's three brothers, Pieter Vermeersch (1973), Robin Vermeersch (1977) and Tinus Vermeersch (1976), are all artists.
He studied Industrial Design Engineering at Delft University of Technology.
In 1997, he obtained an internship at Pininfarina, during which he developed his graduation project. With this project - the research and design of a car for 2012 - he graduated in 1998 as “Master of Science in Industrial Design Engineering” with first class honors. Later he was given an award for "Best Graduate Industrial Design Engineering" of the year 1997-1998.
Immediately after his graduation he joined Pininfarina, where he contributed to the design of many successful cars and prototypes such as Metrocubo (interior) and Ford Start (interior). In particular he was responsible for both the concept design and styling of the exterior and interior of the Pininfarina Nido safety concept car, which was presented at the 2004 Paris Motor Show and awarded with the prestigious Compasso d’Oro design award. This innovative project fits within a long tradition of Pininfarina research projects that propose answers for future cars and mobility.
In July 2005, he was promoted to the role of Chief Designer, leading one of the three Pininfarina design teams. During this period, he worked on many production cars for Pininfarina's traditional clients, such as Ferrari and Peugeot, and cars for emerging markets such as the Chinese JAC B18 and the Brilliance Splendor SW, both presented at the 2008 Beijing Auto Show.
As Chief Designer, he was responsible for the design of the new Ferrari California that was unveiled at the 2008 Paris Motor Show, and he personally followed the complete development of the Maserati Birdcage 75th, the prototype Pininfarina developed to celebrate Maserati's 75th anniversary and presented at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show. The Birdcage 75th won numerous awards, including the 2006 Louis Vuitton Classic Concept Car Award.
In 2005, he also co-operated with the Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) in Turin. As coordinator of the institute's master's degree, he led the Fiat X1/99 concept car project that was presented at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show.
On August 1, 2007, at age 33, he was appointed Design Director at Pininfarina, leading a group of nearly one hundred specialized people that combined a young vision with the firm's long design experience. His day-to-day responsibilities included the direction of all the Pininfarina automotive design activities for customers including Ferrari, Fiat Group Automobiles, Maserati, Ford, Peugeot, Brilliance, Chery, and JAC.
In October 2010, the Belgian TV channel Canvas dedicated a documentary to his story and professional achievements.
CAR Magazine ranked him number 12 in the list of "World's 25 Most Influential Car Designers".
In December 2010, he resigned from his position at Pininfarina in order to found Granstudio, a new creative agency that allows him to direct his deep experience in automotive design toward design strategy and mobility design, including transit spaces and public transport.
As of 2012, Lowie Vermeersch is serving (besides his activities in Granstudio) as president of board of directors of the Interieur Foundation, a non-profit association acting in the field of design, product development and innovation. The foundation organizes a design Biennale, awarded with the European Community Design Prize in 1994 and the Design Management Europe Award in 2008. Vermeersch acted as Curator for the Interieur Biennale in 2012.
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