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 traveling the world.

Traveling 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 traveled 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 traveling. 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's passion for traveling (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 globe-trotting Yorkshire terrier Kuma came along for both the Copenhagen launch and Polestar Day and seems to enjoy traveling. 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.

James Hou, his wife Aki and their yorkshire terrier Kuma posing for a photo at Ocean Park, Santa Monica.
Happy dog with big ears wearing a black dog coat.
The car really brings the best out of me, and that's why I love it.
James Hou, Polestar 2 owner
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 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."

Meeting like-minded

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 organized 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 lineup 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. 

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