Among the former students was Frank Stephenson a designer at McLaren, one of the leading companies in exotic cars. Frank is well known for designing the new Mini. Ford master designers Freeman Thomas, J. Mays, and Chelsea Lau, Chris Bangle, the former chief of design for BMW; Henrik Fisker, former designer for Aston Martin and Fisker, Shiro Nakamura, head of design for Nissan, Franz von Holzhausen chief designer at Tesla, GM design studio chief Frank Saucedo, and Cadillac senior designer Christine Park.
Richard got his start in a very traditional way. He won the Fisher Body Craftsman Guild contest where an applicant had to design a car. He also won a scholarship to study at Art Center where he received both a Bachelor of Science Degree in Automotive Design and a Masters of Fine Arts Degree.
He has evolved with the technology, changing techniques with each new development, from bronze casting, cast resin, fiberglass, stainless steel, to plastics.
Richard lives in Santa Monica, a creative community, near Venice California (USA), becoming recognized as a burgeoning new center of “new” ideas in art. He also has collected cars at one time or another, once owning a DeTomaso Mangusta, and more recently a 2001 Porsche 911 and a 1996 Acura NSX coupe, the latter designed by some of his own students.
His work has been featured in various magazines including Road& Track, Automobile Magazine, The Robb Report, AUTOAficionado, Rosso Ferrari, The Star (Mercedes Benz Magazine), Showcase Magazine, Pilota, Octane Magazine and Garage Magazine.
Richard has also been an author. We discover his humorous side in his book Fantastico Ferrari Fever and I understand he has also completed one called Perpetuating Porsche Paranoia.
Richard has donated three automotive sculptures to a kickstart a fund to benefit future students in his name.
Wallace Wyss is the author of the Incredible Barn Finds series of books from Enthusiast Books (Hudson, WI)