Milan Design Week, the new Auto Show is underground and Milanese

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By Design week from Milan – it was once just Salone del mobile, but its importance has gradually expanded far beyond interior design and furniture – the car – traditionally self-referential – looks its own, and you can be sure that it performs well. For some time in search of alternative formulas for the classic Saloni – and the last fair in Munich, which from the closed pavilions partially flowed into the streets of the city center was another example – he finds in the Milanese event, where in the first year he was guest a little stuck in, an interesting formula, cunningly engaged in a vibrant, vital and enthusiastic context on the part of the people, and above all opened a dialogue with parallel design worlds, able to stimulate a reflection that goes far beyond the public showing a number of models. And in this sense, Design Week, with its formula, can be the essence of tomorrow’s Motor Show in its most authentic sense. Thus, artistic installations, debates, floating spaces, perhaps shared with partners in the field of furniture, were the reason why various car designers flew to Lombard’s capital to immerse themselves in the sui generis atmosphere of the Milanese exhibition. We took the opportunity to take stock of the latest, not so much in car design, but above all in relation to the other aesthetic disciplines and to the new demands, such as the technological and social changes taking place in the sector.

Goodbye status. The atmosphere sums it up well Demagoj Dukec, leader of the BMW style: “Milan is people, fashion, aesthetics, the center of many luxury brands, and above all it is industrial: it will not be as beautiful as Florence, but it is alive, Salone is the ideal platform … “. We were the first to ask him where the design of the car goes. “We need to reorient it: from design thought of as image dynamics in a human-machine relationship. In the past we tried to impress with the look of the car, now for the new generations, in the future it will no longer be a question of status, whether social climbing, other meanings and values ​​are necessary ”. But in the meantime, on the latest BMWs, the dual kidney is getting bigger, more impressive, more aggressive. Is not that a contradiction in terms? “Change does not happen overnight,” Dukec argues. “Now you can see what we have done for new customers, especially Chinese and Russian, where BMW is still a social climbing brand … The kidney reflects the spirit of the times! In five years, however, it will be different. On the other hand, in 80 ‘ was the little one, it was cycling, it was growing and shrinking, like pants fashion … Balenciaga is making huge bags now …, these are trends ”.

Demagoj Dukec, leader of BMW style

From function to experience. What development can you expect for car design in the next few years? “For engineers, it’s simple: form follows function, but this,” says Ducek, “is only one of the possible solutions. Another is form follows experience. Because the function itself is valid for tools, that is, tools, not for one car, which is a much more complex object.And the experience is defined by the customers, by the users of the machine, and varies from model to model.Therefore, in BMW there will no longer be a single shape that defines the brand, a family feeling of that nature “On the contrary, some elements will survive, such as the double kidney and the double headlights, transformed into iconic characters”.

To be or to appear. Walter de Silva also refers to human centrality, with a critical implication. “In a world where we should be supportive, less aggressive, more central to people, in cars we often look for formal individualism expressed in an aggressive and arrogant way,” says the designer, who is in Milan to present the interior designed for it. new. company flag, Ita Airways. “And in this process, those who were the leaders do not become followers, but copyers of those who used to copy.” According to de Silva, “apparently possesses being. But let’s remember that the big brands were built on being: being Porsche, being Alfa Romeo, BMW, Fiat and so on, which at the time was a way of defining a cultural In a phase of relative technological flattening, I understand that the only thing that can be done is to attack in style, to attract the public’s attention, but this has a caricature implication because we end up making exaggerated hypercars that we can achieve certain performance forces you to jump through hangers with aerodynamics, city cars designed as hypercars, we are not talking about SUVs … And it produces another serious thing, a departure from good taste and elegance.

At the school of “industry”. But here in Milan, a dialectical showdown with the other disciplines takes place during the design week. According to the former style manager of the Volkswagen Group, although car design has become a bit maneristic today, the dialogue continues from the period between the late 70s and early 80s, when the car industry begins to understand the importance of interior design, and in fact a group of pencils to which de Silva belongs is stationed from Fiat in Milan at Rodolfo Bonetto’s industrial drawing studio. Until then, car design was considered a completely different discipline than cultivated, Milanese design, Castiglioni and Zanusos, where in addition to the response to the functions, there was also a lot of poetry. But even in the creations of the Turin wagon builders, there was a lot of poetry. Since these years, they have become more integrated. Just as technology was integrated: Italdesign understood that the secret was to know how to industrialize the grand master’s creations, that is, Giugiaro ”.

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Walter De Silva, designer

Interior at the intersection. “The centrality today lies with the traveler, not with the buyer – what a bad word – but with the traveler who needs a great digital IT support, but also analogue experiences. Therefore, materials, light, color must intervene powerfully in the decor. This is the criterion I used when designing the cabin for Ita, with a lot of focus on the interaction of light, the artificial (with different moods corresponding to the different phases of take-off, cruise, landing) and the natural that penetrates the bunk, with the upholstery materials and their colors, inspired by the sand and blue of our sea, to evoke serenity, an important circumstance in air travel, which for many people is still a source of concern. Has my experience with car design helped me? Yes a lot “. After all, the cabin is the ideal intersection where methods, language, approaches to car design and interior architecture meet. Marc Lichte, head of Audi style, also emphasizes this.” Interior design is a great source of inspiration for me: it that’s why I never miss Salone del Mobile in Milan, because there are inputs from many different, innovative, interesting sectors such as fashion and industrial design, and it gives me many creative ideas “.

Autonomous driving, real game-changer. “In particular,” Lichte continues, “I’m very interested in furniture. Our collaboration with Poliform was born precisely because we share the same values ​​and the same philosophy: high quality standards, sustainable materials, timeless design. The German designer emphasizes the furniture brand’s call to to “dress up” huge spaces, while “we car designers decorate small spaces, such as the cabin, where the driver so far could not help but hold the steering wheel and drive. Now, with cars as the latest Grandsphere concept, self-driving, those on board can work, sleep, watch a movie. Car interiors will change dramatically and for me this is an exciting time, the most interesting in the last 25 years. And if the advent of the electric car is already very interesting, self-driving cars will represent the real game-changer, which will radically change car design.

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