Harald Belker is a force of nature in the area of automotive design with a list of design credits that include the Smart, the Batmobile for the Warner Bros. Batman and Robin film, and the futuristic cars of Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report including the sporty red Lexus. Other movie credits include vehicle design for Armageddon, Inspector Gadget, Cat in the Hat and recently Tron Legacy.
At 53, Belker has been involved in the design field for over 25 years. “I started dreaming about car design pretty late. I was about 25 and finished a degree in engineering before I even heard of the Art Center College of Design”, he admits. “But once I saw what they did, I was pretty sure that this would be my future as well.”
After graduating from the Art Center College of Design, Belker fell into the dream design job of designing cars for Porsche. “Though my time at Porsche was short”, he explains, “I made some long lasting friends”. From Porsche, Belker then moved to another iconic automotive company at Mercedes Benz in California where he worked on the Mercedes Smart Car as well as the ‘S’ and ‘M’ class models.
Though Belker’s early design work centered on the industrial design of cars, he gained a taste for entertainment design when he was offered the opportunity to design the Batmobile for the Batman and Robin movie. “Since then I have worked on many fun projects”, admits Belker. “Some of the projects have been hard to watch movies, but nevertheless they were a blast to work on. My work on Minority Report was an absolute highlight of my career because aside from the manpower behind it, it gave me a chance to show a future sense of vehicle design that we had not seen before.”
A glance at Harald Belker’s body of work shows a great range of styles. He describes his visual style as “graphically bold, with the sensitivity and vision to push new forms”.
He continues: “I like to design everything and I do. I am working on furniture, sports equipment, bags, toys, cars etc. I don’t ever want to do the same thing over and over.” He is currently the Head of product design for Anki, Inc. a consumer robotics start up company up in San Francisco.