29-year-old British designer Leighanne Earley is the designer of the Citroen C-Buggy concept. A graduate of Coventry University’s Transport Design course, she started work for Citroen in 1999, then worked with Ford for Lincoln, before returning to the French brand in 2003.
What prompted the C-Buggy?The brief was to do a buggy version of the C-Airplay [Citroen's city car concept of 2005]. So this was to be the brother for the Airplay for the weekend. Were you influenced by the Mehari?Not directly, but the spirit of the Mehari is definitely in C-Buggy. I did look at it when designing the car. But we're always looking ahead and didn't want to do a retro car in any way. Did any other concepts influence you?Apart from the C-Airplay, the Sportlounge. So many colleagues inside and outside Citroen say that's their favourite car; I hear it's on every desk in Detroit. What was working on the project like?Jean-Pierre Ploué, [head of design at Citroen], is a visionary. He's a believer in getting everyone's sketches on the studio wall, in going through their sketchbooks; we're constantly wondering what he'll be thinking next. At Lincoln [Earley worked at Lincoln's California studios from 1997 to 2000] I learned about constraints, the application of materials – about the architectural. At Citroen, doing this car, I've learned to think about the whole car in a very free way; I've learned about line control, surfacing highlights. I'm going to bring this 3D knowledge into my current work on interiors.