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A Quick Look at Mazda’s Unique Design Approach

August 24th, 2018


Experience KODO: Soul of Motion Design at Borgman Mazda in Grand Rapids

At Borgman Mazda, we appreciate the hard work and dedication it takes to bring a car from concept to the road. The fact that Mazda takes so many extra steps further during this process makes it even more impressive, and we wanted to give these masters of their craft a little shout-out today.

This article from InsideMazda talks about their design philosophies and how they relate to human emotion, conveying motion, and imbuing their creations with life.


Mazda Design: Car As Art

Mazda Design is obsessed with the ultimate form of beauty — the artistic forms that can only be shaped by the power and precision of human hands. To find these forms, Mazda designers and modelers implement a unique process called Exploratory Preparation: creating objects with different forms to explore how these forms move people’s hearts.

The Designer begins with formulating the emotion that someone will feel when they see the car. Once this emotion is defined, understood and internalized, the Designer can begin exploring that emotion in a form through sketching — the start of the transfer of energy from craftsman to object and from object to the viewer.

The Designer and Modeler discuss the target emotion and together review sketches in order to visualize the 3D form. Inspired by the target emotion and sketches from the Designer, the Modeler begins to explore and shape the form through clay — the continuation of the transfer of energy from craftsman to object and from object to viewer.

interview_maeda02_section7_img.ts_.1511041549046700-circleThe Secret Behind the Ongoing Creation of Beauty: “Exploratory Preparation”

“Seeing the beauty of instantaneous motion in a living creature can be a strikingly emotional, inspiring experience. Fascinated with this feeling, the designer relies on his honed aesthetic sensibilities to recreate it in a beautiful, pure, three-dimensional form,” says Ikuo Maeda, the Executive Officer and General Manager of Mazda’s Design Division.

Maeda is the man who created Mazda’s KODO: Soul of Motion design theme which, many have said, revolutionized Mazda Design. His obsession goes beyond the automobile and extends to brand design, which becomes evident when he talks about his own design philosophy.

“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. As we are a Japanese car company, we believe that a form sincerely and painstakingly made by human hands gets a soul.”

“For everyone connected to Mazda, a car is not a means of getting from A to B, but actually a partner you can rely on and that inspires you. That’s why we want Mazdas to express the beauty of instantaneous motion seen in living creatures. That’s what KODO Design stands for.”

You can read the full story by visiting


Shop Artfully-Designed Mazda Vehicles at Borgman Mazda in Grand Rapids

Borgman Mazda has a great selection of New Mazda Vehicles at affordable prices. You can browse our New Mazda Inventory, pick out a favorite, and visit us to take it out for a test drive. Our highly knowledgeable and friendly staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have and don’t forget to ask about our Exclusive Free 20-Year 200,000 Mile Warranty with every New Mazda we sell. Come see why Borgman is West Michigan’s Exclusive Mazda Dealer.


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