Inside Mazda

Artful Design Breathes Life Into Every Detail

Mazda's KODO “Soul of Motion” design philosophy embodies the dynamic beauty of life. From the first moment Mazda’s designers put pen to paper, they strive to create an emotional connection between car and driver. They believe that beautiful design, honed through decades of expertise and passion can breathe life into a car.

Unrestrained by convention, Mazda’s designers are given the freedom to create art.  They are relentless in their enthusiastic pursuit of beauty—a quest for alluring simplicity that ties back to the company’s roots in Japanese design. Aesthetics are paramount, as they reflect each car’s unique character and heritage. And each creation is unique.

The power of touch

“What sets Mazda Design apart from other brands is an obsession with the ultimate form of beauty,” explained Ikuo Maeda, executive officer and general manager of Mazda’s Design Division. “I’d say that’s also our strength. We’re obsessed with the power of human hands and artistic forms that can only be shaped by human hands.”

Yuta Takanashi, one of Mazda’s master artisans, knows all about that. Once a design has been produced, he painstakingly sculpts it into a real-size clay model. He then runs his palms all over it, seeking out imperfections until he is finally satisfied it can no longer be improved.

After years of experience, he has come to value the sense of touch so much he often closes his eyes to heighten it. “If there was something a little different in the shape of the line, then you can let the palm of your hand feel that,” Takanashi said. The result, perfectly by such masters, enhances the full-sensory experience at the heart of Mazda.

Creative collaboration

Modeling is not Takanashi’s only role, for there is a distinct collaborative element to Mazda Design that enables creativity to flourish. As a design moves through each phase of creation, designers share their perspectives, questions and suggestions, which ensures a more holistic final product, modernized to today’s standards while retaining reverence for the time-tested philosophies of the past.

Knowing their ideas can make a real difference in the creation of a car that embodies the dynamic beauty of life is one of the reasons why Mazda’s artisans are so driven. They are passionate about customer experience and ceaselessly imagine the freedom drivers will feel inhabiting the products they've made.

A sense of spirit

Indeed, just as car and driver ultimately become one, there is a spiritual connection between Mazda’s master designers and their products. Like any artist, they believe they always leave something of themselves in what they create.

“In Japan, we feel that craftsmen inject life into what they make, so objects that receive the love and caring attention of these craftsmen have a vital force, a soul,” explained Maeda. “As we are a Japanese car company, we believe that a form sincerely and painstakingly made by human hands gets a soul.”

This spirit is palpable in the Mazda6. Its design expresses a less-is-more approach, distilling lines to what is essential and letting light interplay with the body of the car. The materials used throughout the interior design heighten the experience, and create more focus and calmness by reducing visual noise. Carefully considered features in the Mazda6 Signature—Nappa leather seats, Japanese Sen wood and UltraSuede ®-finish materials, all set off with satin chrome trim—create a contemporary look and feel that calls back to a culture of refined design principles. It is the embodiment of inspiration, aliveness and flow.

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