Cars and design


This is the last floor to be visited, entirely devoted to design, or the planning that goes into a car, the creative path that precedes the production of a motor car and which it depends on. 1,200 square metres and one single large room tell us about how the great designers of today interpret the themes of individual mobility, safety, speed, comfort and style. The car is at the same time both a flying carpet - a magic device allowing us to move in defiance of our physical capabilities - and a mobile home and den, with passenger areas being more and more comfortable and welcoming- a sort of travelling replica of our own living room. Achieving certain objectives is difficult, exhausting and time-consuming, and involves all the designers’ abilities and resources. Listening to how some of the greatest designers in the world have done it, are still doing it and will continue to do it in the future is an enormous pleasure that is not to be missed.


A common trait. Design identifies an era because it is an expression of the culture prevailing during that era. The lines of these cars certainly differ and this is intentional, each one is specific to its brand and origin. But they have one thing in common, each speaks of the character of their time. This is the meaning of morphing (an English word derived from the Greek, morphé, shape) to which the lines of these splendid cars are subjected, icons of thirty years of design. They are evidence of a continuity of formal expression that translates into a superimposition of shapes, but without detracting from their diversity, originality and uniqueness.

Cars on show: Cisitalia 202 SMM spider Nuvolari (Italy 1947), Alfa Romeo Disco Volante (Italy 1952), Lancia Flaminia presidenziale (Italy 1961), Abarth 2400 coupé Allemano (Italy 1964), Alfa Romeo 2600 touring spider (Italy 1965), Maserati Mexico (Italy 1968), Ferrari 208 GTB turbo (1982).


How and when does the designer's task begin today? A task that in a few decades has seen some truly amazing progress in technological terms. What shapes, what needs have fuelled the inspiration that means the Turin, Piedmont and Italian school is still today recognised as the leader in design. Here are today's top designers, who each talk of their experience. These are the voices of Chris Bangle, Aldo Brovarone, Walter De Silva, Leonardo Fioravanti, Marcello Gandini, Fabrizio Giugiaro, Giorgetto Giugiaro, Flavio Manzoni, Paolo Pininfarina, Mike Robinson, Tom Tjaarda, Andrea Zagato.


Design is a rhapsody

One might think there is an infinite gap between designing cars and composing music. And yet the creative spark is just the same because it is the expression of an idea that, in turn, is the fruit of culture in the broadest sense, which is the source of a common vision. Different languages but using identical tools – sensitivity and inventiveness. Factors underlying masterpieces that, in both cases, are capable of creating an emotion because the emotion is within the person who has created them, who has given them form on the pentagram or drawing board. Without forgetting the vital contribution of various professional skills, all of which converge within the final product, whether this be a musical symphony or a mechanical rhapsody.

Cars on show: Brera

Final grand ball

It was American architect and philosopher Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) who created the Comprehensive Anticipatory Design Science in the 1930s, part of which was the revolutionary design for the Dimaxion, one of the most original engine-powered vehicles ever built. It was one of the events that marked the beginning of design as we know it today. A science that took on board society's desires and needs and provided technologically feasible solutions, often by completely abandoning stylistic features adopted up to then. From then on, that is, from when car design first began to incorporate aerodynamics (producing bodyies with rounded edges, smooth surfaces and low horizontal profiles), it has never looked back. It has evolved, seeking to fulfil its mission – to anticipate solutions. And the final grand ball revealed by the models on show here tell the story of one hundred years of Italian styling, one hundred years of beauty and functionality, timeless lines that have made Italy's styling school the benchmark for the world.