Few designers get the opportunity to define a brand as prominent as Ford, but for the last 16 years, J Mays has been the driving design force behind the vehicles coming off the car company’s production line. With more than 30 years of experience, and a considerable number of car designs credited to his name — including the VW “New Beetle”, Aston Martin DB9, and the Ford GT, Focus, and the Fusion — J has led a quite a career. While we’ve spoken to Mays in depth about his journey as a designer and his life as Ford’s VP of Global Design, we thought now would be a fantastic time to catch up with the auto design pioneer. This Thursday, October 3rd, Mays will be taking part of our ‘Design With a Purpose’ panel being held at the AIA Center for Architecture in New York City (something we’ll also be webcasting live right here on Inhabitat). In anticipation of this event, we chatted with J about some of the topics he plans delve into this week, including resilient design, new vehicle safety technology, what’s in store for Ford in the coming years, and of course, New York City architecture. Keep reading for the scoop!