Winning by design: the methods of Gordon Murray, racing car designer

Cross, Nigel and Clayburn Cross, Anita (1996). Winning by design: the methods of Gordon Murray, racing car designer. Design Studies, 17(1) pp. 91–107.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/0142-694X(95)00027-O

Abstract

This is a case study of the working methods of one particularly successful designer in a highly competitive design domain - Formula One racing car design. Gordon Murray was chief designer for the very successful Brabham and McLaren racing car teams in the 1970s and 1980s. His record of success is characterised by innovative breakthroughs, often arising as sudden illuminations, based on considering the task from first principles and from a systemic viewpoint. His working methods are highly personal, and include intensive use of drawings. Personality factors and team management abilities also appear to be relevant. There are some evident similarities with some other successful, innovative designers.

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