Brand New Ideals

Dave Marek, Global Creative Director for Acura, has a 10-second rule. The first impression has to be, “Wow, I want that,” followed immediately by intrigue – like with sculpture, where you notice the extra details.

He’s referring to the highly anticipated next-generation NSX sports hybrid supercar, so yeah. That sounds about right.

Every day Marek steps in to the Acura Design Studio in Torrance, CA, surrounded by teams of passionate designers. Every day he goes into a space alive with technology, innovation and craftsmanship. Every day he walks through and looks at the latest lines sculpted along models of future vehicles.

Recently Marek found himself walking past the final exterior design mock up of the NSX and feeling, once again, a momentous responsibility to live up to the original. In his words, “It better be the same love affair that the first one had… and yet it should be Acura, it should be accessible to everyone, easy to understand.”

Check and check.

As Global Creative Director, he is responsible for instilling the Acura philosophy in all of the designers. It’s what Acura calls alluring modern edge, a design language that necessarily requires a mastery of method, where taught surfaces are woven together with, and drawn in to, softer elements for an incredibly dynamic aesthetic.

Since stepping into this role, Marek has also been focused on helping the brand live up to its emotional potential. He ensures that what’s being built becomes much more than just a representation of requirements, features and specs. It’s got to be human-centric. It’s got to be about the driver.

The next-generation NSX is designed to embody this in every possible way. Precision craftsmanship. Human-centered performance. It’s in every detail. It’s in the first impression and the lasting rush. There’s an emotional connection that happens from the man-machine synergy in the interwoven design, the aerodynamics, the interfaces, the materials – in every aspect of design.

It follows the 10-second rule. You do look at it and think, “Wow.” You do notice the extra detail that’s gone in to making the surfaces. The goal is that “it has all that first impact, but then you start to realize that you can’t imagine getting bored of looking at it. It’s design is modern, yes – but somehow classic instead of trendy.”

Working with a world-class team in the design studio, Marek constantly encourages them to push the limits – especially with this one. As he puts it, “There's no way you can scare me, you can't be crazy enough in that kind of discussion… don't be afraid. What are we afraid of? Try something.”

It seems that everything has been leading to this point: The original, paradigm- shifting NSX that set a new benchmark. Marek’s extensive industry insight and leadership. Acura’s heritage as a performance brand. The company’s belief in the opportunity to deliver a dream and create a pinnacle product that represents everything Acura is. It has all converged in the new NSX. And people are stoked.

The automotive design community is a big part of Marek’s world. He’s a highly regarded instructor at Art Center Pasadena, where he continues to get as much from fresh new designers as he gives back through teaching. He also judges car design competitions and is considered a bit of a legend in his own right.

Going forward, he believes that the NSX will elevate every move Acura makes. “Everything else has to live up to it.” And if Dave Marek has anything to say about it, which he does, a stronger connection to the customer will be designed into every future vehicle.