The word Kodo literally interprets as “heartbeat,” but with the added significance of loading something with life; of giving it a soul.  The Kodo design philosophy of ‘expressing the “Soul of Motion”‘, directs at transposing the virtue of movement into a quiet object.  And with the same spirit, an image exhibit, and an official celebration of the 10th Anniversary of Mazda’s Kodo design language is happening, which did Head Designer Ikuo Maeda introduce.

With the true and relatable philosophy of “Kodo – Soul of Motion,” Head Designer Ikuo Maeda produced a bold new direction for design at Mazda.  Prefaced ten years ago at the 2010 LA Motor Show with the Shinari thought, Kodo Design has been representing and elevating Mazda’s award-winning styling spirit ever since,.  And with its core policy prevailing to unchanged and to traverse the powerful and compelling beauty of natural inclination in a still object.  Seems to be naturalistic.

According to Ikuo Maeda, This idea is fundamental to the way he has always believed about design.  “In Japan, we feel that craftsmen inject life into what they make.  We believe that a form sincerely and painstakingly made by human hands gets a soul.”

Hence, “Soul of Motion” takes on a dual meaning, revealing both the essence of movement and the “soul” inspired in the car by Mazda’s original artisans.

The Shinari was a four-door sports concept that provided the vision of an animal already or eagerly waiting to dive, thus, foretelling a compelling eventuality for Mazda design.  The following year, Mazda taunted the world with another example of Kodo Design with Minagi, a small crossover SUV concept that later developed into the award-winning Mazda CX-5.  WOW!

Well, Motivated by the beauty and power of nature allied with the sensation of motion, the first Kodo Designs were greatly inspired by the image of a ‘cheetah’ who is ready to pounce you.  This means, that Mazda designers strictly observed how these charismatic mammals used their whole body as a source to convert pent-up power into highly constrained motion.

Launched in 2012, the Mazda CX-5 was the first generation vehicle to integrate Kodo Design, blending hold all functionality, advanced dynamism in equal measure and go-anywhere muscularity.  Also, by Ensuing closely in the footsteps of the Shinari and Minagi ideas, the Takeri and Hazumi carried the equivalent eloquence of motion that concentrated on the beauty, strength, and tension seen in the immediate movement in mammals.

So, this Mazda Takeri proposed a new level of power and allure to the prospect of Mazda’s salon styling, while the Hazumi theory (meaning to ‘spring up’  or ‘driven’ in Japanese) used Kodo Design to describe the character of a small but powerful animal exploding with enthusiasm for Mazda’s next-generation B-segment vehicle.

While A turning point for Kodo Design was transferred with the two awe-remarkable theory cars, Vision Coupe, ND RX-Vision.  This excites a powerful and sensitive design with as few ingredients as feasible.  thus, both of the ideas were made in order to expect the new culture and yet more obvious minimalist aesthetic of recent versions of Kodo Design, which was Introduced in 2015 and 2017 at the Tokyo Show respectively,  Powerful and passionate forms are performed by shaving off any elements to bring out the very spirit of grace and consideration.

From this time onwards, Mazda designers tried to create excellence and unique beauty by taking elements away, not combining much more.  So, the most advanced generation Mazda3 was motivated by the Kai Concept and was the first means to display the latest development in the company is groundbreaking Kodo Design.  Launched in 2019, it is a more sophisticated rendition targeting more prominent styling influence through the beauty and precision of a minimalist, motivated by the purest beliefs of Japanese art and the beauty of place among objects.

Though remembering the beautiful forms of Mazda’s design theory, the styling of the Mazda MX-30 describes an exploration of a more contemporary aesthetic that concentrates on the futuristic values that are commencing to emerge.

While other Kodo models focused on surface appearances, Mazda’s first fully electric vehicle shows Kodo Design in a more practical way.  The exterior is simple to maintain its beauty as a compact mass, and the cabin layout,  with its freestyle doors and framed top integrates an image of light while proactively including sustainability as an ingredient for the inside materials.

Adding to an extraordinary roster of prestigious design awards, Ikuo Maeda also won the Design Hero accolade earlier this year by Britain’s best and most secured motoring title in the 2020 Autocar Awards.  The most advanced recognition from Autocar acknowledges Maeda’s 35 years of achievement at Mazda and his vision and guidance in the universe and evolution of Mazda’s Kodo Design theory.

As Mazda remains to combine a love of driving with excellent interior and exterior design, the condensed style and sentimental appeal of Kodo Design will continue to add an essential element to the brand’s identity.  In addition, with the latest evolution of Kodo Design every component serves a goal, nothing is excessive or merely embellishing.  Isn’t it?

Siddhika Prajapati

Siddhika Prajapati

English Honors graduate and post graduated in journalism. A freelance writer and a nutritionist. A fashion, fitness, art, culture and travel writer, who loves to explore and experiment the experience through words with an add-ons of personal touch. Her passion for fashion, lifestyle and fitness is what motivates her to write regularly. Favourite Car: Audi R8 Quote: If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door