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Aston Martin Just Opened Its First Non-British Design Studio in Shanghai

Created in partnership with Tongji University, the new studio will give Aston insight into the ever-important Chinese market.

Aston Martin’s design department is breaking borders with the announcement of a new studio in Shanghai—its first to be located outside of the U.K. Officially named “Aston Martin Lagonda Creative Lab, NICE 2035,” the design house was created in partnership with the city’s Tongji University and aims to provide the British luxury automaker valuable insight into the oh-so-significant Chinese market. 

“The Chinese market is incredibly important to the future success of Aston Martin,” said Aston Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman. “Collaborating with industry leaders and talented students at Tongji University will allow us to have a deeper understanding of the trends in China, ensuring we are focused on the needs of our Chinese customers.” 

While he was on site, the Aston exec also gave a lecture to 100 Tongji students on “the importance of beauty in design.” Not a day many chose to cut class on, we’d imagine. 

Reichman goes on to say that the lab’s inaugural project will be “a collaboration on future interior designs for our sports cars and our first SUV, which will be launching in 2019.” Previous reports have pegged the Aston SUV to be electric, sold under the Lagonda brand, and have the name Varekai

Here’s a photographic tour of Aston’s new digs. Despite its university ties, your old homely college dorm room this is not.

From Tongji University’s Design and Innovation Dean, Professor Lou Yongqi, “I am sure this unique design studio has the potential to produce some truly inspirational ideas by combining the history of two century-old organizations, in the culture-rich city of Shanghai.”