100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry
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Diane ALLEN

Design Manager • Nissan Design America Inc. • Age 50
 
 
 
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Why did you want to work in the auto industry? When I discovered the artwork that went along with becoming a car designer, it excited me so much that it triggered something in me. I knew I had to do it. At the time I saw a gallery at our design school, I was a product design major, and I immediately switched to automotive.

First automotive job: Summer intern with Ford in Dearborn [Mich.] in 1983.

Proudest professional achievement: Winning a global competition for the Z twice, for the 350Z and the 370.

Current challenge at work: The pace of projects seems to be quickening, and the ideal to turn around a product is speeding up. More is being asked of design to not only make the products look more appealing but to make them feasible. There's a lot more expected, and the timeline's shorter.

Dream job: To be able to design things that are even more visionary, more experiential, maybe even beyond automotive. I'm really intrigued by architecture and the creation of spaces that are absolutely amazing. I'm also excited by the surge of different materials and new technology and nanotechnology. I think it's going to reinvent how we think about design.

What you do to relax: Gardening, hiking, swimming and lots of activities with 8-year-old twins.

— Lindsay Chappell

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