Described as “radical” (Der Spiegel, 2012), “unique, philosophical, even poetic” (Creative Review, 2014) and as “crazy talk that could turn our cities into symphony” (Jarvis Cocker, BBC Radio, 2013), Ocaña’s automotive design practice extends across collaborations with a variety of brands within transportation and architecture; from Saab, Opel and McLaren to AMO, the design think tank led by Rem Koolhaas. In 2011, he was appointed Design Director at Think, the Norwegian electric car brand. From 2013 to 2015 he held the Creative Director role at Semcon, the Swedish engineering and design consultancy. In 2019 he founded Taller de Velocidad, a mobility design studio focused on Emerging Markets which is working with the government of Mexico City on the development of an ultra-lightweight electric taxi fleet to be launched in 2022.
Ocaña’s pursuit of automotive design’s intersection with social, cultural, political and environmental contexts has earned him recognition amongst design innovation groups and a mention in Wallpaper Magazine’s 2012 shortlist “The fresh and fabulous forward thinkers who will change cars forever”. Such approach has also inspired his interest in art as a research medium. Through his artistic practice, Ocaña has raised an anthropological view on the concept of speed and the relationships it creates amongst time, space and the human understanding of these. By blending artifacts of transport with notions of identity and habitat, his art work analyses the subconscious rhythms involved in the act of motion and the possible meanings of our species’ seemingly perpetual state of journeying. Ultimately, he aims to spark debate on how modern speed might be rewiring the human brain.
Amongst other exhibitions, Fernando’s work has been presented at The Transport Museum (London, UK, 2011), Frankfurt Motorshow (2013), Museum Villa Stuck (Munich, Germany, 2017), Open Week Festival (Gothenburg, Sweden, 2017), Salón ACME (Mexico City, 2018), Museo de Arte Moderno (Mexico City, 2018), Museo Auto-Servicio (Mexico City, 2020), Orto Botanico Corsini (Porto Ercole, Italy, 2021) The Mexican Embassy to Japan (Tokyo, 2021) and, as part of the external activities program of the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale, at the Zuecca Project Space in Venice, Italy (2018).
Originally from Mexico City (b. 1986), Ocaña has lived and worked in Barcelona, Turin, Gothenburg, London, Oslo, Munich, Stockholm and Rotterdam. He holds an BA in Transportation Design from Italy’s Istituto Europeo di Design and a MA in Vehicle Design from the Royal College of Art in London.