Artist Enjoys Life in the Drivers Seat - Y Magazine
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Artist Enjoys Life in the Drivers Seat

Scott Strong

R. Scott Strong

By Todd R. Michaelis, ‘90

R. Scott Strong, ’78, BS Art Center of Pasadena ’85, (Anna Petrini, ’81), was a senior art major at BYU when he finally discovered his true interest. “I took an elective class in industrial design and worked on a cooperative project with General Motors with the new Corvette. I did so well and had so much fun that I decided this is what I wanted to do,” Strong says.

Strong eventually found a job with Ford, and he took his young family to Cologne, Germany, where he began work on the next-generation Escort. During his 10-year stay in Europe, he was involved in many projects. He eventually became a lead designer for the Ford Ka, a small city car for crowded European streets.

Achieving a new design takes some creative approaches. “As a team we hung pictures of things we didn’t want to do on a wall. We studied consumer products ranging from Japanese knives to teakettles to find fresh and innovative ideas,” Strong says. Their work paid off; the Ka became an award-winner and has eclipsed the one-million production mark. Strong was also involved with the Ford Focus, which has become a world best-seller.

Strong has worked for Ford in Australia and now is back in the United States as Ford’s director of design for family/lifestyle vehicles. “It’s a charge to actually see cars you created all around you,” Strong says.