Giorgetto Giugiaro knows a few things about designing cars. His company, Italdesign recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. Italdesign has a history of producing radical concepts and working with manufacturers as an ‘outsider’ studio. The next generation Ford Mustang will likely draw significant design direction from concept produced by Giugairo in 2006. Car Body Design has published some excerpts from an interview with Giugiaro where he talks about his view of the future of the automobile and the automotive industry.
Cars should be wider, not longer. Giugiaro notes concepts like the Toyota iQ which has an innovate, flexible interior but a relatively small overall size. Widening a car is technically more difficult than making it longer he says. But beyond those challenges, the real struggle comes from the fact that sales numbers, revenues, and niches have importance in determining if a car is made or not.
They’d (automakers) like to try something new, but they have to mediate with parameters presented by technicians, who often say: ‘this cannot be done… this costs too much. And in addition to this the marketing teams with their schemes and positionings give benchmarks and directions for the new products. Not to mention some executives who come from different fields such as finance or politics, but want to be ‘the stylists’: they never come to you and say: ‘a four-meters car, this tall: I’ll leave it to you’.
Giugiaro would like to see lawmakers impose a maximum size for automobiles. He envisions an optimal size to be 14 feet long by 5 1/2 feet high. He believes that cars with those proportions would be lighter than many cars today and in-turn more fuel efficient. He says that the notion of measuring a car’s value based on its size is silly. He thinks that mandatory limits on a vehicle’s size would not affect design creativity. The desire for designers to have a ‘blank sheet of paper’ to freely create whatever they want is no help he says.
I have faced hundreds of new rules and I have welcomed all of them because boundaries stimulate creativity.
Giugiaro was named designer of the 20th century in 1999 and at 70 years young, he still puts in a six and sometimes seven day work week. He still spends a portion of each day at the drawing table sketching ideas.
I have never sketched on a clean sheet of paper because that is art, not design.