Ford#;s newest design studio doesn#;t have a milling machine. Or clay. Or doorways and elevators large enough to squeeze in a car.

“It doesn#;t need any of the conventional trappings of a traditional design studio, because Ingeni is anything but a typical studio,” says the company#;s vice president of design J Mays, of the stylish studio housed in an all-glass building in London#;s red light district of Soho designed by Richard Rogers (he of the inside-out Pompidou Centre in Paris and the Lloyds building also in London).

Instead, Mays prefers to call Ingeni a “centre of creativity” where ideas and designs are hatched for everything from tomorrow#;s cars and merchandise supporting all eight Ford brands to non-automotive consumer products such as watches, furniture and guitars.

In addition, Ingeni will specialise in creating integrated brand and communications strategies for clients outside the automotive industry.

The international team of approximately 30 designers and business managers, led by Ingeni creative director Henrik Fisker, uses state-of-the-art software, a link to one of the world#;s most powerful computer networks and a global network of other resources to create finished products.

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An Ingeni designer working on a new car design at a workstation in Soho can send the data from the design to be milled into a clay model at the Land Rover studio in nearby Gaydon in England#;s Midlands, Ford#;s advanced studio in California or Volvo#;s studio in Sweden.

Ingeni#;s staff has been handpicked from around the globe and represent a cross-section of creative disciplines – ranging from commercial arts and fashion to advertising and marketing to automotive, furniture and product design.

In their former jobs, individual team members have created everything from aeroplane seats and mobile phones to fabrics, motorcycles and cars.

Ford cites London#;s reputation as the world#;s creative epicentre as the reason for siting its new studio there.

Some floors of the new building will house outside companies – including a software design company, a merchandising specialty firm and a Japanese restaurant.