Celebrating Innovative Design

Our Vice President, Design Experience Anne Asensio recently had the honor of being the first woman to serve as the Honorary Chairman of the 30th annual EyesOn Design Automotive Design Exhibition.  We sat down with Anne to learn more about what was shared at this annual event, which pulls together the global design community to celebrate great transportation design and the designers behind it while supporting the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology.

What is unique about EyesOn Design? How is it different than other car shows?

At the heart and soul of EyesOn Design is a celebration of the innovation and design that have defined the automobile over time. The global design community is small; we are a family. Each June, we reunite in Detroit to gain inspiration from the hand-selected cars in the show and from interacting with our design peers from around the world.

While many car shows focus on engineering, or on designs of the past or of the future, EyesOn Design honors the heritage of great vehicle design from any era.  The event offers an opportunity for designers to reflect on the meaning in the products, and the thinking that led to their creation.  Seeing the 300+ automobiles gives these designers an opportunity to have an emotional reaction to what they are looking at, and to come away with a renewed drive to try recreate such a feeling within the customers they serve.

In your view, what impact is the digital revolution having on the role of designers?

Digital technologies are dramatically reshaping our world; artificial intelligence, virtual reality, the cloud, big data, autonomous mobility and social platforms to name just a few. During such periods of innovation, we become more conscious of the importance of design to shape the future.

This year’s EyesOn Design honored futurist Syd Mead for his lifetime of imaging new worlds – not just the designs but their impact on the lives that interact with the products.  Mead’s approach of considering how innovative design can shape how people live is a testament to the importance of how designers connect insights from all around them to help develop relevant, meaningful and personalized experiences.  In the Age of Experience, designers are not only involved in designing a product, but also in crafting a full, continuous experience with new life scenarios, technologies, systems and business offerings.  We call this “Experience Thinking.”

Getting together with our design community at EyesOn Design offers an unparalleled opportunity to take a step back to reflect on these great designs of the past, and how we can continue to put the user at the center of our process to create the best possible experience through design.

You talk about us being in the Age of Experience. How does this impact how designers think?

Today’s design is holistic and systemic. It calls for more intelligence and engagement with more complex and diverse environments: from functional, physical and logical ones to more emotional, sensible and desirable ones. Today, trust-based interactions are essential for the public to gain confidence in the new autonomous and virtual technologies, and foster adoption.

Things taken for granted in our well defined physical world require new interactions and experiences as old references disappear.  Science is the enabler for this change. Scientific exploration helps liberate design and inspiration drives design to explore what is physically possible. With science and design together, incredible opportunities open up for us all.

EyesOn Design supports the efforts of leading eye and brain modeling experts to provide independence to the visually impaired and returning eyesight to the blind. How can Dassault Systèmes solutions support this important mission?

Our solutions go beyond product design; we use 3D and virtual universes to imagine solutions to improve human life. With precise computational models that accelerate translation of research into clinical practice for fundamental understanding of the eye’s function, we help advance personalized, interventional patient care using validated models as practical guides.  In the past 10 years, Dassault Systèmes has partnered with EyesOn Design to better prepare future designers with the best of our technologies and design understanding to improve product and service experience for all, regardless of any physical limitations.




About Anne

Anne Asensio is VP Design Experience at Dassault Systèmes. Over the past 30 years she has enjoyed conducting innovative and holistic global projects with talented people from all horizons and cultures. Her experience in design innovation, advanced design, design research, and brand building has allowed her to help design and business leaders establish the right environment for innovation, successfully running systemic and complex initiatives to design the future. She strongly believes in 3D and virtual universes as a new language for human creativity and innovativeness. It’s the driving force behind the choice she made to work at Dassault Systèmes and the foundation of the company’s vision.


Photos courtesy of Photos courtesy of the Don Wood and the Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) via Eyes on Design
Alyssa Ross

Alyssa Ross

Alyssa is a Communications Director on the Dassault Systèmes Corporate Publishing team. She’s been part of DS for over 18 years, in roles ranging from public relations to marketing programs. Twitter: @DS_Alyssa