Shiro Nakamura of Nissan to Receive Major Design Award


Detroit, MI, January 8, 2010 — The Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology announced that Shiro Nakamura, Senior Vice President, and Chief Creative Officer, Nissan Motor Company Ltd, has been elected as the Lifetime Design Achievement Award winner for the EyesOn Design Automotive Exhibit, 2010.

The award itself is unique in that only those designers who have previously won the award are allowed to vote. As a young man, and to this day, Mr. Nakamura has listed as favorite cars the Giorgetto Giugiaro-designed 1964 Alpha Romeo Canguro and Sergio Pininfarina’s 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB Berlinetta. Both of these design heroes are on the DIO’s panel of previous winners who elected Mr. Nakamura to this high honor.

Mr. Nakamura, almost always listed in the press as “the Dapper Mr. Nakamura,” is a fascinating man. An accomplished musician, who at one time sat in at a Ginza jazz club as a bass player, also counts Miles Davis among his heroes. Not to be musically narrow-minded, he also plays classical music with his cello. Think Bach!

But the design legends who added to their very select list with his election to the Lifetime Design Achievement Award may not even have known of his musical prowess. They voted him in for his design successes. Among the many are the Nissan 370Z, Murano, cube, GT-R and Infiniti G37, FX and Essence Concept.

Most recently, Shiro has played an instrumental role in the design of the Nissan LEAF, a zero-emission, all-electric family car that will go on sale in December. The Nissan LEAF will be on display during the press preview of the North American International Auto Show on January 11-12, 2010.

Born in Osaka, Japan in October 1950, Mr. Nakamura graduated from Tokyo’s Musashino Art University with a Bachelor of Art degree in Product Design and immediately joined Isuzu. Several years later he came to the United States and graduated in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Transportation from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, Calif. Then, after stays at Isuzu in Europe and General Motors in Detroit, he was wooed by Carlos Ghosn in 1999 to join Nissan. In 2000, he was named head of global design for Nissan and Infiniti, and he was promoted to Senior Vice President, Design in April 2001. In 2006, he was named Chief Creative Officer and has been responsible for brand management, as well.

Mr. Nakamura is well-known to the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology since he has, on multiple occasions, served on the EyesOn Design panel of OEM global design leaders who judge concept and production vehicles introduced in Detroit each January at the North American International Auto Show.

The Lifetime Design Achievement Award will be presented in June 2010 at the EyesOn Design event, held annually on Father’s Day at the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe, Mich.

For more information on the EyesOn Design events, contact Marco Eadie of Maverick Media Agency at 248-396-1353 or or visit Eyes On Design at