Paulo Konno

Paulo is one of the very few automotive designers whose passion for cars and design comes from the childhood years. He actually began his career in 1986, before College, visiting the GM Design Studio in São Paulo – Brazil on a monthly basis to show his work and get tutoring. In 1990 he started working as a Design Intern for GM while still taking his College degree in Rio de Janeiro. He was offered his first position, Junior Creative Designer, six months before the actual end of his internship. He took the position and was allowed by GM to travel weekly to Rio to work on his final thesis and get his BFA in Industrial Design by the end of 1991.

He worked for GM in Brazil, Germany and the USA from 1990 to 2009, wearing many hats: Junior Creative Designer, Senior Creative Designer, Senior Exterior Production Designer, Senior Interior Production Designer, Exterior Concept Designer, Interior Concept Designer, Assistant Chief Interior Designer, and Senior Visualization Designer.

Behind the wheel of the Boat Tail Rod

During the first five years at the GM Design Studio in Brazil Paulo worked on a series of minor and major enhancement projects, special series models and new platform products. Among the most remarkable are the developments of the S-4260 Corsa notch back and S-4220 Corsa pick-up models.

In 1995 he was assigned to travel to Germany and work at Opel Design as an Exterior and Interior Production Designer for the third generation of the Opel Corsa, reporting to Mr. Hideo Kodama, Design Manager of the 4300 platform design studio.

Driving one of the first Celta prototypes at the GM proving ground in Brazil

In early 1996, back to Brazil, Paulo received from Mr. Mark Hogan, President of GM of Brazil, the General Motors President’s Council Honors due to his significant cost reduction efforts on the Corsa platform. During that same year he was assigned his most remarkable design, the full development of the Chevrolet Celta, known inside the GM Corporation as the Blue Macaw (R4000) project. Paulo is the integral author of the whole vehicle design (, something that is really rare in the automotive design field. The design development was completed in 18 months and enabled GM to introduce the most affordable entry level vehicle to the market by 2000, and the first available for purchase online as well. It also enabled GM to build a new plant in the South region of Brazil, exclusively dedicated to the production of the two hatchback versions of the Celta as well as the notch version, the Prisma. Ten years later almost 3 million units were produced and the Celta became a major market success which allowed GM to establish a solid leadership position in the segment during those years.

After the completion of the Celta, Paulo was assigned to work on the creation of the show car Celta Spyder, a two seater street car under direct supervision by Design Director Dave Rand, for the 2000 International Auto Show of São Paulo and the 2001 Eyes on Design at the GM Tech Center in Warren, Michigan – USA.

One of many TV commercials produced for the Celta marketing campaign in South America

After the show car, Paulo worked as an Assistant Chief Designer for interiors developing projects for the Vectra platform and GM’s new small premium vehicle in South America, the Chevrolet Agile.

In 2005, as a result of his outstanding 3D digital skills and knowledge, Paulo was assigned to work on a new strategic area for GM Design in South America, the Visualization Studio, where he was responsible for the creation of high- end images, animations, Powerwall presentations and virtual models and mock-ups for the design team, managers and directors. He worked on a series of advanced digital projects for the new Chevrolet Colorado pick-up models for North America, Latin America, Middle East, Asia, Australia and Japan, and also for the new 4 door notch and PM7 (compact SUV) models from the new coming global GAMMA platform. Paulo was assigned twice, 2006 and 2007/08, to train and work on visualization projects in the Creative Digital Imaging studio at the GM Tech Center in Warren, Michigan – USA.

With Ed Welburn, GM VP of Design, during Paulo’s MFA project presentation at CCS

In 2010 Paulo moved with his family to the States to take his Master’s Degree in Transportation Design at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. He graduated on May 10th of 2012 and received the CCS Certificate of Achievement for outstanding academic performance during the 2010 Fall, 2011 Winter and 2011 Fall terms, and was placed on the Dean’s recognition list by Mr. Imre Molnar, Dean of the College.

CCS – MFA Class of 2012 – graduation ceremony at the Opera House in Detroit

After graduating, Paulo joined Ford Design in Dearborn, MI – USA where he worked on the new Ford Edge (project CD539). After that Paulo made a shift in his career and started dedicating his knowledge and skills to the digital sculpting and virtual reality side of the car design business. At the end of 2012 he joined GM Design in Warren, MI – USA where he has worked in many different projects for the Cadillac, Buick, GMC and Chevrolet brands.

In 2019 Paulo and his family became citizens of the United States of America.

Besides his car design activities Paulo has dedicated his knowledge and skills designing graphic pieces, products and theatrical sets. Some of these projects have been successfully adopted and awarded as the smartphone accessories conceived for Congstar, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG in Germany, and granted the Selected Artist Award by Talenthouse Inc. in the USA.

The Beauty Blow for Congstar GmbH

All rights reserved to Deutsche Telekom AG

and Talenthouse Inc. – USA

Paulo is always eager to face new challenges and opportunities for professional growth and he continuously looks forward to contributing with his knowledge to activities he can identify himself with, expressing his ideas and creativity freely towards achieving concrete results.