Beyond the Road: James Hou
Welcome back to “Beyond the Road,” a content series in which we highlight the stories of Polestar owners from all over the globe. For the second episode, we sat down with UX designer James Hou to talk about cars, design, his dog, and travelling the world.
Travelling the world together
The sky is blue and the ocean cold when James Hou arrives in Santa Monica, California, with his wife Aki and their three-year-old Yorkshire terrier Kuma. He is here for the first-ever Polestar Day event, and as always when he travels, his family is right by his side.
In the past year, James and his family have travelled throughout Europe and Asia before heading to The Golden State.
“There are so many interesting cultures, people, and types of food – and the only way of really experiencing these things is travelling. So, we try to do that as much as we can,” James comments.
While it is their first time in Los Angeles, it’s not the first time that James and his family have left their home city – the vibrant metropolis of Toronto – to travel to a Polestar event. James’ passion for travelling (and Polestar) has brought him and his family to many bucket list destinations, including Scandi-minimalist mecca Copenhagen for the Polestar 3 launch event in 2022.
His globetrotting Yorkshire terrier Kuma came along for both the Copenhagen launch and Polestar Day and seems to enjoy travelling. Ever since his owners installed a personal dog seat in the back of their Polestar 2, he too can enjoy the views by gazing out the back seat window.
Design for a designer
With a background in industrial design and an eye for detail, James appreciates all types of design, from furniture and architecture to automotive. But it is within UX that he currently makes his living.
James works as a Senior Product Designer at Nanoleaf, a pioneering sustainable lighting company offering smart home products. In his role, James focuses on elevating the experience of the company’s digital products, such as the app and other digital platforms.
Design is also one of the reasons why James decided to get a Polestar. “The minimalism, and that Scandi design, is a big reason why I chose Polestar. And the 360-camera. Now, I can’t imagine my life without that camera,” he enthuses. “The car really brings the best out of me, and that’s why I love it.”
James’ relationship with Polestar began a long time ago. He took an interest in the brand way before we had cars on the roads and plays an active role in the Polestar owner’s community. So, when the community organised a Polestar 2 owners meet in Toronto, James was there.
“It was interesting seeing what brought everyone together, what they like about the car, and what they’re trying to do with it,” James comments. “It’s just really interesting meeting everyone.”
The car has also proven to be a conversation starter outside these community meet-ups. After seeing him cruise down the streets of Toronto, people will stop to ask him about the brand and its design.
“Sometimes I feel like a brand ambassador because I love the car so much. I’ll spend about 30 minutes explaining the brand, the design, and that it’s vegan-friendly,” he claims proudly. I really enjoy sharing things about the brand and the car with people.”
Expectations vs reality
Going into the Polestar Day event, James was most excited about the ride-alongs and getting to experience the future model line-up in person. He was not disappointed.
“I would say the highlight of Polestar Day was connecting with other Polestar owners as well as the designers, engineers, and innovators behind-the-scenes. It was especially intriguing learning about the challenges, creativity, and technology in developing the car we all love,” James comments. “I can't wait to see the new cars on the road and I’m looking forward to more events like this."
Passion fuels our company, and our customers. We’re fortunate to have such spirited people driving our cars.
Beyond the Road: Emma Olbers
We are back with yet another episode of Beyond the Road, a content series where we highlight Polestar owners’ stories from all over the world. This time, we had the privilege of stepping into award-winning designer Emma Olbers’ studio to talk about creativity, sustainability, and the future of design.
How leather has endured centuries of changing times, trends, and demands
Leather is one of the most premium materials out there, known for its durability and graceful ageing. It’s not as widely known for its sustainability credentials. James Muirhead, an eighth-generation member of the family-owned Bridge of Weir, lets us in on the conscious processing of some of the world’s finest leather.