through the archives – Giorgetto Giugiaro's greatest designs

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The Maya prototype was unveiled in Turin in 1974

As the legendary Giugiaro leaves the ItalDesign design house he created in 1968, we look back at the first 20 years of his work

Legendary designer Giorgetto Giugiaro has sold his remaining shares in tuning house Italdesign to Audi, bringing to an end his participation inside the company he founded in 1968 in addition to completing a deal which began having a 0.1% sale to Audi in 2010.

While many of Giugiaro’s most recent designs, including the Parcour 4×4 in addition to Clipper MPV – are regarded as the latest in a long line of successes, the item’s the firm’s vehicles through the 1970s in addition to 1980s that will are thought of by many as his best work.

In 1988, Autocar celebrated the 20th anniversary of ItalDesign having a look back at the company’s greatest acheivements. 

producing the master – 20 years of Italdesign

This specific article first appeared in Autocar on 13th July 1988, words by Stephen Bayley

The Audi 100 is usually among the most beautiful three-box cars of recent years, a masterpiece of understated excellence. Its proportions perfectly measured, its parts in harmonious relation to the whole, its details pleasingly rational. There are people who say the shape was Giugiaro’s creation, nevertheless, bound by some code of motor industry omerta, he makes no claims.

Probably no-one outside Moncalieri or Ingolstadt definitely knows the truth, nevertheless the irony of the situation must be specially poignant as ItalDesign celebrates 20 years in business in addition to Giugiaro approaches 50 years on earth.

the item is usually a part of the professional designer’s contractual obligation to his clients not only to protect their interests by scrupulous confidentiality nevertheless also to subordinate his own ego to the corporate will.

Raymond Loewy, the stylist whose self-regard was rivalled in its towering dimensions by Giugiaro’s more enchanting creativity, experienced similar frustrations. One Leonard Lord of BMC commissioned some designs through the cologned in addition to pomaded Franco-American. Years later, Loewy “phoned through brand new York to ask what had become of them. With patrician disdain Lord replied ‘My Goodness, Mr Loewy! We never intended to use your designs, only to find out what you were thinking'”.

As in-house designers in Seoul take credit for his work in addition to as Fiat gives the brand new Tipo to the brand new Turin design office, IDEA, in order to keep ItalDesign, as ItalDesign is usually experiencing the paradoxical pains of success.

Giugiaro was born in 1939 inside the little town of Garessio inside the province of Cuneo northern Italy. He was taught drafting by Professor Gio Besso at the Academy of Fine Arts in Turin, when in 1956 the great engineer of the Topolino, Dante Giacosa, persuaded the 17-year-old to join the staff at Centro Stile Fiat.

Here he soon distinguished himself by an exceptional ability as a visualiser, nevertheless a restless muse provoked him to work outside the manufacturing industry in addition to soon he was at Bertone (where he designed the Alfa Romeo Giulia GT of 1964) in addition to briefly chief executive of Ghia’s ‘ufficio tecnico e stile’ (which he produced the Maserati Ghibli in addition to de Tomaso Mangusta of 1966) before setting up ItalDesign in 1968 with the three partners.

The fact that will he chose a neologism instead of the traditional family name showed that will Giugiaro was embarked on a collaborative exercise. The fact that will he had a clearly established ‘handwriting’ through early on showed that will ItalDesign was not going to be a traditional carrozzeria, compliant to a some sort of’s whim. The famous Torinese coach-builders – Bertone, Pininfarina, Ghia – all grew out of artisan trades in addition to only later added design in addition to styling to their portfolio.

Still today, Bertone in addition to Pininfarina are involved in producing cars for manufacturers. ItalDesign is usually different because the item only builds prototypes. Giugiaro says he is usually not crazy about cars, just crazy about styling them. With prototypes, ideas can be turned around in three months; with production, ideas hang around for a long time, as they became locked into an eight-year life cycle.

inside the 20 years of astonishing creativity since 1968 when ItalDesign showed the Bizzarrini Manta, Giugiaro has become perhaps the most imitated in addition to innovative of all consultant product designers. His work, both inside in addition to outside of the automotive industry, combines a sensuous appreciation of style in addition to form having a sympathy for technology in addition to the disciplines of production that will is usually rarer than the item should be.

Giugiaro’s style is usually so attractive the item reverses the trend in addition to is usually the very opposite of inimitable. Rather, the item has become a global language of car design, copied everywhere. Long before he became famous he had enormous esoteric influence in his work on the Alfasud (1971), the Volkswagen Golf (1974) in addition to the Fiat Panda (1980).

All these cars have a crisp, razor-edged elegance in addition to if they are lacking in details or in human factors This specific is usually perhaps as much to do with lack of nerve with the some sort of as with deficiencies of the designer.

Giugiaro is usually not merely fluent having a Magic Marker. With the Panda he realised to the full the collaborative potential of ItalDesign. The first stage of the presentation included two full-scale types, four alternative solutions for the sides, a buck of the passenger compartment in addition to a comprehensive study of the competition.

When these proposals were approved, Fiat requested ItalDesign to start production studies, build a master product, design provisional tooling in addition to engineer pre-production prototypes.

Within a year 20 rolling chassis had been made. the item was in these simple cars that will his fresh genius became apparent. Thus, Giugiaro saw a giant some sort of not as an intimidating client, nevertheless rather as an enabling resource – in addition to in This specific sense Giugiaro has reversed the traditional designer-client role.

the item was the oil crisis of 1973 that will changed his views about design. Having established a particular product of stylish sports car, he changed to a more practical, more functional one. He said: “I contributed to producing that will long, low, sleek car fashionable in addition to at This specific point the item is usually time to change. I have to eat, you know.”

The MegaGamma in addition to its commercial derivative the Fiat Uno are examples of This specific. While virtually every stylist had inside the past concentrated on longer-lower-sleeker-faster, Giugiaro at This specific point showed that will as much characters art, style, chic in addition to design could be got into a box with the specification of a kitchen as into an exaggerated wedge with superannuated racing hardware.

Giugiaro’s first phase has had its critics, including Ford’s Uwe Hahnsen, who said the sharp in addition to angular Golf belonged to the ‘Origami school of design in addition to that will the Lotus Esprit only looked dramatic because of its inhuman proportions. nevertheless Volkswagen has demonstrated its faith inside the original idea by approving the 1983 Mark II, Herbert Schaefer’s warm-up to the original.

The chief characteristic of artistic genius is usually in its ability to change in addition to adapt, nevertheless remain consistent to its goals. Around 1970 ItalDesign was working on cars like the Tapiro, a classic Giugiaro wedge based on a Porsche platform. Yet even with the constraints of the sports car shape you can see a search for brand new volumes in addition to an ingenious arrangement of spaces all within an elegant in addition to arresting envelope.

After 20 years of cumulative success built on cumulatively successful ideas, Giugiaro is usually in strange position. Third level manufacturers embrace him in addition to tarnish a carefully image. When he goes in to the Ristorante del Cambio, diners don’t whisper in awed hush “that will’s the man who designed the Hyundai Stellar.” At the same time, the majors, having learned what they can, are staying at home or shopping elsewhere.

The Japanese, meanwhile are at This specific point ‘designing’ even the parts of the cars you don’t normally see , such as differential casings in addition to suspension turrets. Giugiaro’s chief competitive advantages are consistency in addition to inventiveness. the item is usually tempting to see his career so far like sonata form in music: exposition, development, recapitulation. through sports cars to city cars to sports cars in addition to city cars combined.

Twenty years on, the Aztec is usually reminiscent of GM’s Firebird III of 30 years before. that will car’s designer was Harley Earl. He once described the purpose of his vocation as being to give the customer a sense that will when they get inside your vehicle they go on vacation for a while.

The Giugiaro achievement is usually to realise This specific – in addition to make money at the same time. In prototypes like the weird Machimoto or the astonishing Aztec you have a demonstration of the pleasure principle applied to driving. In perfect little machines like the Panda in addition to Uno you have responsible style bringing in hatchbacks of royalties.

Soon ItalDesign will be floated on the Milan Borsa Valori. With social pressures on the motor car becoming intense, the next 20 years will be fascinating to watch as Giugiaro ceases to be responsible merely to his muse, nevertheless to stockholders in traffic strangled cities.

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