I don’t know this guy, but I was very interested to read this bit of news on BRAIN today. Torgny Fjeldskaar has been promoted to global director of industrial design at Cannondale after about 3 years with the company. The Synapse, SystemSix, and various European urban bikes are listed as some of his contributions so far. Of particular interest to me is the fact that he made the move to Cannondale from Mazda’s advanced design studio. Pretty cool; it is great to see a designer from the auto industry switching over to bikes. I believe that a talented employee with experience from a different industry is usually good for any company. Most people working in the bike industry are avid cyclists themselves and are very passionate about bicycles and cycling. No doubt that is a good thing, but I think sometimes an “outsider’s perspective” is exactly what a company needs to really focus on innovation rather than to really on comfortable but stale designs (which usually happen to be very competitor focused). This quote from the article indicates that Cannondale recognizes that fact:
“Torgny combines a fresh design perspective from outside the industry with solid engineering experience,” said Chris Peck, vice president of research and development. “He’s a visionary designer but also knows the mechanics of making his vision a performance reality—which is important because performance is always our first priority.”
Incidently, Fjeldskaar mentions in the BRAIN article that he worked on a Cannondale sponsored thesis project at the Elisava School of Design in Barcelona. Long time readers of this blog might remember that school from another Cannondale sponsored student project that I mentioned earlier this year. It is great to see that Cannondale recognizes the value of design and is focused on fostering student development. I congratulate both Torgny and the company he works for on this recent promotion.