Walter De Silva
Walter de Silva, is THE car designer of the 20th century...
De Silva, born in Lecco in 1951, is an Italian designer who took car design to a new, higher level. After his first beginnings in the automotive world, he worked in Milan designing furniture. After his return to the automotive scene, he made a name for himself with the Alfa Romeo 156 he designed. In particular, the successful version of the Sportwagon estate inspired Ferdinand Piëch to recruit the designer for the VW Group. The master gave numerous models of the most diverse automobile companies from SEAT, Audi to Lamborghini an unmistakable line. Most recently, he was VW's chief designer from 2007. With 2015 Walter de Silva retired, since 2017 he has been working for the Swiss EDAG, the world's largest engineering service provider for the automotive industry. Most recently, the exclusive evening shoe line "Walter De Silva Shoes", a collection produced by luxury label Gianvito Rossi, made headlines. For the Home of PUR, he exclusively developed the unmistakable PUR wine labels, reduced to the absolute essentials.
Dear Walter, what is your favorite car, in terms of design?
I have lived in car design for 50 years and it is very difficult to give preference to one of the many exceptional and beautiful car designs, because it is precisely in their history that we find the answer and consequently the depth of the designers' thinking and their culture.
In the 1961 PORSCHE 754 T7 (695) designed by "Butzi" Porsche, grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, I find the story of how a prototype designed and built in every detail can become the "founder of a car family".
The story of how a prototype, designed and built down to the smallest detail
became the progenitor, the flag-bearer of a brand and the icon of the car world.
The history of the Porsche 911 models shows us how an idea can become reality beyond time and fashion.
What is the future of design and what will change?
In just a few months, all our priorities have changed, or rather, they have changed ... Starting tomorrow, developing sustainable factories, components and products for a clean world will no longer be enough, because new parameters and disciplines have already been introduced into the creative and technical development process, because we have learned to live with an invisible, aggressive, ruthless and deadly enemy.
We have learned to change habits very quickly and think more carefully about hygiene, medicine, IT, psychology, ergonomics and habits until we think deeply about what the near future of tomorrow will be. These days we have used all available means from home for work, leisure, communication and information, and although we have used the most advanced technologies, we have not experienced any benefit from a physiological or psychological point of view.
However, we understand that we are on the verge of awakening to be those,
who, with our behavior, determine the future threshold of well-being and the relationship between globalization and localization and, above all, a new and imminent world order, what I would call, in terms of design ... an "Analog / Postdigital" future.
Physical and mental mobility is once again becoming central and fundamental to the balance of our body - and is no longer understood as "wellness" - to which we can devote a fragment of the day, but as a comprehensive relationship with the world in which we live and not as a diminution of digitalization, but as a more effective, correct, ethical and conscious use, where augmented reality in particular is much more in line with objective reality.
What advice would you give to a young designer?
A young designer dedicated to this profession must take into account three factors that are fundamental to the practice of this wonderful profession:
Design is a discipline that needs to be approached with rules, methods and a lot of technical and technological knowledge.
Design is the aesthetic answer to functionality
Design is creativity that is never an end in itself, but always in the service of the public.
I would add that strength of character and tenacity must be a characteristic of a future designer, because there is always a strong personality behind good design.