The Designer: Light Breathes Life into Glass, We Breathe Life into Lights

The Designer: Light Breathes Life into Glass, We Breathe Life into Lights

What do a glass cutter and a car designer have in common? How has crystal inspired the design of the revised ŠKODA SUPERB? Lead Exterior Lighting Designer Petr Nevřela answers these questions by exhibiting artefacts and agreeing to an interview with ŠKODA Storyboard.

18. 7. 2019 Škoda World DESIGN

Bohemian crystal and glassmaking are a major source of inspiration for ŠKODA design. Several cut-glass exhibits displayed during the presentation of the revised ŠKODA SUPERB to the press provided a physical reminder of this inspiration.


The link between the cut-glass crystal and the revised sedan’s headlights is clear at first glance.


Petr Nevřela, a Lead Exterior Lighting Designer at ŠKODA Design, also presented 3D moodboards for the various versions of the SUPERB (see photo above).

Petr Nevřela
Lead Exterior Lighting Designer

“We have made the character of the SPORTLINE, SCOUT and LAURIN & KLEMENT come to the fore in a number of items that express similar values. This is actually a routine part of the designer’s job. When you pitch a design, you always draw on other objects from a completely different sphere of product design to describe the intent behind the resulting product. We show our design along with products that customers already use,” explains Petr Nevřela.

Headlights round off the car’s character

What makes crystal and glassmaking so inspiring for designers?

Glass is a huge source of emotion. A lot of ambience is also stimulated by the shine and sparkle of glass. And that’s what we replicate in our cars. The inner design of the lights lends character to a car. Just as glass fosters an atmosphere, the headlights of a car shape its character.

Light infuses glass with life. This is a principle that works perfectly with glass. In exactly the same way, we breathe life into lights. We take the effects that can be achieved in glass and transfer them to car headlights, fashioning them into the gems the vehicle needs.


What is your specific role in “converting” crystals into a car’s design features?

At ŠKODA, a headlight designer’s mission is to transfer unique light effects from glass to a fully functional element in the car – the headlights – while lending the headlights an exceptional look that help to mould the car’s character. Obviously, the material we use is central to our work because, for a variety of reasons, we need to replace crystal glass with other high-end materials that meet the carmaker’s challenging demands related to issues such as safety.

Can you describe how a car’s face is created? What role do the headlights play?

When designing the exteriors of our cars, we always have a distinct sense of the emotions they should be arousing – what the car should be expressing. Likewise, we also have an idea of what the headlights are to express. The design of the headlights and the entire exterior progresses in parallel, and, needless to say, we interact with each other during the process, developing ideas, shapes and solutions together. A car’s headlights are like human eyes. Just as looking into someone’s eyes will tell you something about their character, the headlights of a car will give some of its nature away.

ŠKODA Design

How has the inspiration provided by crystals and glass been reflected in the design of the new SUPERB?

This crystal-based inspiration can be seen in several components of the revised SUPERB’s lights. The full LED matrix headlight incorporates the distinctive crystalline-shaped module that is a typical feature of ŠKODA headlights. The basic LED version of the headlights uses a crystal-cut-inspired filter. In the rear lights, I would highlight the three stones positioned in a transparent area. This is the first time that we have featured transparent elements on a car. They convey the well-known value of lead glass. The rear lights are include needles referencing the crystal cut.



Is the work of a car designer similar to that of a glassblower or glass cutter?

Yes, in a way it is. The glassmaker and the car designer are both aiming to create an interesting object. Although we employ different technological procedures and we have completely different options available to us, we both want to create an intriguing item – a jewel for the car, a crystal gem for a lady, or – in the glassblower’s case – a work of art for an interior. We are both precise in our work and harness the atmosphere that the glass creates, made by the light and its effects.

Related Stories Based on tags: 2019, design, LED lights, Superb