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If automotive designers can agree on one thing, it's that the future will be more diverse. Three current designers and one teacher came together to discuss the way forward at the monthly Automotive Press Association luncheon in Detroit. Cadillac's Clay Dean, Hyundai's Phil Zak and Ford's Scott Strong joined Larry Erickson from the College for Creative Studies at the Detroit Athletic Club.

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No, really. If you didn't know, U2's front man and Africa activist Bono is a regular columnist at The New York Times. And he (too) has a top 10 list to kick off the new decade we now find ourselves living in. Bono first smartly apologizes for burdening our collective eyes and minds with yet another such list, before then presenting his.

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Details are scarce at the moment, but we have learned that Volvo's award-winning design director, Steve Mattin, has left the company. While no further details are immediately available (why he left, where he is headed, possible successors, etc.), Dan Johnston, Volvo's East Coast PR manager confirmed the news to us after placing a call to his counterparts in Sweden this afternoon.

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Click above for a high-res gallery of the Chanel Fiole concept car

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Another casualty in the collateral damage of auto industry woes: Graduating car designers are no longer finding jobs. The LA Times reports that in years past, manufacturer representatives would attend the Pasadena's Art Center College of Design's senior showcase and welcome a few visionaries into the hallowed world of car design. Now, manufacturer representation is down to one or two (if any), and those who show don't always end up hiring. For students who weren't chosen by manufacturers, the fa

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Click on the image for more shots of RCA's Eco-Cars of the future

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It seems Volkswagen has breathed a collective "Oops!", and is now working to turn its design ship around. VW was known for neat, differentiated designs with great interior details. While this stayed true in some parts of the world, in the U.S., Volkswagen design turned into chrome shield grilles fronting identical bodies in various sizes.

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The Buick Reatta a design flop? That's what a University of Michigan professor told The Wall Street Journal recently. Really? The Reatta is the one car that he could find to pick on as an automotive design flop? Sure, the high-tech coupe was overweight and underpowered, overpriced and under-appreciated. But a design flop? I think most of us would agree there are uglier, slower, more poorly-made cars in the history of automobiles. Our Dan Roth even called it a Future Classic not too long ago.

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Some see the success of the Toyota Prius, compared to such competitors as the Civic Hybrid, as proof that green cars need to look different from their normal siblings. While it may be a bit early on in the game to make this assessment, Ford's North American director of car design, Pat Schiavone, suggests that there could be a trend towards "green" styling cues. For instance, cars like the Honda Insight and GM EV1 are easily recognizable for their teardrop shape and covered wheels, both of which

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Click the image above for more hi-res shots of the 370Z and Infiniti design teasers.

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Click above to view high-res gallery of renderings

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Click above for a high-res gallery of the Lexus LF-A roadster concept.

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click above for more high-res pics of the 2009 Ford F-150

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Even though Jaguar and Land Rover might only have a foot or so of visibility into the fog of their business futures, they continue to plan for long-term success. The latest step is a $4 million investment in a "virtual reality center" that will create three-dimensional projections for designers and engineers to study, saving the time and expense of having to build individual models.

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From time to time we've all been tempted to purchase that fake diploma from the endlessly circulating email, right? The last time I checked, though, they weren't offering fake certificates from the Art Center College of Design, or the Academy of Art University. If you still held onto the dream of someday shaping cars, even after all your sketch pads had been confiscated, the normal path was that you'd go to an institution where you could learn industrial design through a rigorous academic progra

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