Daniel Simon

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Daniel Simon
Born1975 (1975) (age 43)
Stralsund, Germany, DE
Occupationconcept designer and automotive futurist
Known forCosmic Motors
Notable work
TRON: Legacy, Captain America: The First Avenger, Tron: Uprising, Oblivion
Home townLos Angeles, USA
AwardsADG Excellence in Production Design Award (nominated)

Daniel Simon (born 1975) is a German concept designer and automotive futurist. He is best known for his vehicle designs in movies like Tron: Legacy and Oblivion,[1][2] and his book Cosmic Motors.[3]

Early life[edit]

Simon grew up in Stralsund, Germany. From an early age he was interested in drawing cars from imagination, and at the age of 16 he decided to become a car designer. In 2001, Simon obtained his degree in automotive design at the University of Applied Science, Pforzheim.[4]

Automotive career[edit]

Simon began his design career in 1999 at Volkswagen (Wolfsburg) under the leadership of Hartmut Warkuss and designed cars for Seat and Lamborghini under the supervision of Walter de Silva. In 2001 he was contracted by the Volkswagen Group's advanced studio (Design Center Europe, Sitges), where he participated in the reincarnation of the Bugatti brand. He left the Volkswagen Group as a senior designer[5] after completing a concept car in 2005. Between 2005 and 2007, Simon continued consulting for Bugatti and developed futuristic virtual vehicles for his book Cosmic Motors, published in 2007 by Design Studio Press. Upon its release, Cosmic Motors topped the automotive best-seller list of online retailer Amazon.com.[6] It has received positive reviews from design icons such as Chris Bangle, Freeman Thomas, Syd Mead and Ryan Church.[7][8]

In 2011, Simon was appointed to "create a dynamic new corporate image" for the Hispania Formula One team's second season in Formula 1.[9] He designed the livery of the team's F111 car.

The newly established Lotus Motorcycles group hired Simon in 2013 as the designer for the first Lotus Motorcycle C-01.[10]

Film design career[edit]

Simon was hired in 2008 as vehicle concept designer on Tron: Legacy, the sequel to the 1982 film Tron by the Disney Studios,[11][12] and relocated from Germany to Los Angeles, California. He was involved in the creation of the Light Cycles, the Light Runner, the Light Jets, and several background vehicles. In 2009, he became lead vehicle designer for Marvel Studios' 2011 Captain America: The First Avenger, under the production design of Rick Heinrichs and creative guidance of director Joe Johnston, creating unique land, sea and air vehicles for the movie.[13] After collaborating with director Ridley Scott on early vehicle concepts for Prometheus in 2010, Simon served for over one year as the designer of the Bubbleship for the 2013 Universal sci-fi film Oblivion.[2][14]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Organization Work Category Result
2010 ADG Excellence in Production Design Award Art Directors Guild TRON: Legacy Fantasy Film Nominated[15]
2011 ADG Excellence in Production Design Award Art Directors Guild Captain America: The First Avenger Fantasy Film Nominated[16]


  1. ^ Boucher, Geoff (October 29, 2010). "Tron designer: We tried to write a new chapter of beauty". Los Angeles Times Hero Complex.
  2. ^ a b Keegan, Rebecca (April 10, 2013). "'Oblivion' and Tom Cruise: A closer look at the Bubble Ship design". Los Angeles Times Hero Complex.
  3. ^ Squatriglia, Chuck (September 6, 2008). "Cars 2.0 Future Transport: Super Cool Sci-Fi Cars From Another Galaxy". Wired. Archived from the original on September 7, 2008. Retrieved September 6, 2008.
  4. ^ Noe, Rain (December 7, 2011). "Interview with concept designer Daniel Simon". core77.com.
  5. ^ "The Internet Movie Data Base". IMDb.com. Retrieved February 17, 2009.
  6. ^ Sato, Takeshi (August 19, 2008). "Book review: Cosmic Motors". CarDesignNews.com. Retrieved October 13, 2013.
  7. ^ "Cosmic Motors - Seductive, fast and out of this world". CG Channel. Archived from the original on 2008-01-04. Retrieved January 5, 2008.
  8. ^ "Cosmic Motors". CarDesignNews. Retrieved August 19, 2008.
  9. ^ "F1 : Hollywood designer appointed to create new Hispania Formula 1 team image". F1SA. 23 January 2011. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
  10. ^ "Lotus is launching a motorcycle". Top Gear. June 25, 2013. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
  11. ^ Rothman, Wilson (February 20, 2009). "Tron 2 Vehicle Designer Daniel Simon Is an Intergalactric Hardware Visionary". Gizmodo. Retrieved February 20, 2009.
  12. ^ "Concept Art: Tron2 - Ride the Lightcycle". IMDb. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
  13. ^ Zalben, Alex (July 19, 2011). "Next Movie: I Was A Vehicle Designer on Captain America". MTV Geek. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
  14. ^ Clee, Lynette (May 10, 2012). "Daniel Simon discusses his work on Prometheus". www.3dartistonline.com. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
  15. ^ "2010 Crew List of Nominees & Winners". Art Directors Guild. Retrieved October 13, 2013.
  16. ^ "2011 Crew List of Nominees & Winners". Art Directors Guild. Retrieved October 13, 2013.
  • Paul Henderson. "Why the traffic of tomorrow will be built by Cosmic Motors". GQ (May 2009, Britain): 89.
  • Matt Master. "Dream Machine - Welcome to the bizarre and beautiful world of car designer Daniel Simon". BBC Top Gear (September 2008, U.K.): 72–74.
  • Michael Brunnbauer. "Per Mausklick durch die Galaxis. Ein Interview mit Daniel Simon". GQ (May 2008, Germany): 80–82.

External links[edit]