She is by training an electrical engineer. But in the construction of a modern automobile, it no longer seems helpful–or, perhaps, possible–to rely on conventional definitions of what design is or is not. Questions of aesthetics relate to questions of engineering; and questions of engineering relate to questions of manufacturing, operations, supply-chain management, safety, quality, and profits. “When we look at designs,” says Barra, “we’re also looking at: It’s beautiful, but can we build it? And can we build it consistently with quality?”

As the executive responsible for the design and engineering of every General Motors vehicle around the globe, as well as the highest-ranking female executive in the carmaker’s history, Barra oversees everything from the contours of a Chevy that might not hit the market for several years to the performance of a Cadillac that rolled off a Michigan assembly line just a few days ago. In a traditional sense, Barra won’t be putting pencil to paper to render drawings of the next generation of GM cars. But she’s arguably doing something more difficult: If her company is going to survive, she will have to design its future. [more]


About joetheflow

I'm a multimedia designer, video editor, photographer and musician who likes just about everything so here's a place to share. I'm left-right brained which is both a blessing and a curse but never boring. Check out: 3 Penguins Design - ::: 3 Penguins Photography - :::

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