Barbara Sika: A passion for telling stories through timeless designs
The Colour and Trim Designer talks about drifting through life, being open to inspiration and new experiences, and how passion leads to success.
Barbara Sika is standing in front of a concrete wall and smiles in the camera.
Truly powerful design is something you feel. It can transport you to another time, reawaken a sensory memory or tell a compelling story. Barbara Sika does it all using a very special medium: Porsches.
Telling stories through colourBarbara Sika is a designer known for her risk-taking and visual flair. As a member of the Colour and Trim Design team at Porsche, Sika allows her love for what she does to inform each new aesthetic. Colour choice is a big part of that, particularly for something like a sports car. It's the first thing you see. But for her, colour is more than just flipping between swatches, instead it's an emotional subject. With each triggering a different association in all of us. A memory, a story, a place. Anything can be a starting point. Finding and developing the perfect shade is part of a journey with the ultimate aim of creating “symbiosis between driver and vehicle."Every concept demands complete commitment – she’s even been known to translate the colour choice for one particular project into a flavour of ice cream when presenting it, so the audience could literally taste her vision. It’s this level of commitment that makes her a perfect mentor for The Art of Drive.
[My] motto is always to flow through life, to let yourself drift, to let yourself be influenced.
Barbara Sika | Colour and Trim Designer
Shades of inspirationFrom her early days studying packaging technology and industrial design, to her wildly creative design of the 60th anniversary "Unimog" car, and her contributions to the Colour and Trim Design team at Porsche, it’s clear Barbara's passion is backed up by serious talent. For those still finding their own way, here are some words of advice from Barbara herself:Define your version of success“How you define success for yourself is important. For me, success is when the story is communicated well to the customer, when they experience the same emotions as I did when I was designing. It’s not about what I end up with in my bank account.I’m an emotional person, so I only really manage to do things successfully if I do them with passion and love. What drives you and your version of success may be different, but once you’ve identified that, it will help to better shape everything you do.”Be open to inspiration“To find out what really drives you, you have to let go of any preconceptions and instead simply be open to everything.Try to meet as many people as possible. Try every experience available to you. Look at what other people are passionate about. This often leads you to delve deeper into your own interests.You shouldn’t be in search of success, or passion, or enthusiasm – allow it to find you. Stay open and free in your mind and listen to your gut feeling.”Be driven by passion“Passion is something that evolves. It matures and deepens with each experience and the insight you gain along the way. As long as you’re continuing to learn and adapt to those learnings, you’ll continue to find motivation.When I get passionate, it’s usually at the beginning of a project. It’s when you first think about what you want to represent and the story that you want to craft and take forward.As you create, the vision becomes clearer and you build out the story – in my case, with materials, colours, emotions. At some point, you fall in love with the project and the concept and that’s what carries you through.”
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