The "Dream" exhibition, which opened last week in Turin, Italy.
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Torino, September 18, 2008
“Dream,” an exhibition about dream vehicles and concept cars that were designed by automobile companies, bodywork style centres and freelance laboratories in and around Torino from the 1950s to today, was presented to the press today at Torino Esposizioni, 14,000 square meters of floor space under the stupendous vault of the Padiglione Nervi, that was created as a sort of “basilica” dedicated to technology.
Moderators: Andrea Bairati, Vice President of the Organizing Committee of Torino 2008 World Design Capital and Regional Councillor for Research, Innovation, Industry and Energy; Alessandro Barberis, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Torino; and Giuliano Molineri, coordinator of the Scientific Committee of the exhibition.
During the year in which Torino celebrates its title as first World Capital of Design, which it was awarded by ICSID (International Council of Societies of Industrial Design), an important exhibition dedicated to car design - one of the excellencies of Piemonte - was a must. The exhibition, which was organized with the support of the Chamber of Commerce of Torino and in collaboration with the National Automobile Museum of Torino, represents the third portion of the Trilogy dedicated to the world of cars. This Trilogy began last November with Twentieth Century, an exhibition about the evolution of style in car design during the past century, and continued in April with Speed, which studied the great adventure of man’s constant striving for impossible goals.
The exhibition is curated by a Scientific Committee composed of a pool of experts in the field (Pietro Camardella, Nevio Di Giusto, Leonardo Fioravanti, Rodolfo Gaffino Rossi, Roberto Piatti, Lorenza Pininfarina, Lorenzo Ramaciotti and Paolo Tuminelli) and coordinated by Giuliano Molineri, the former president of Giugiaro Design for 20 years and a connoisseur of the world of automotive vehicles. There is also an Honorary Committee composed of Sergio Marchionne, Giorgetto Giugiaro and Paolo Pininfarina, who took the place of his brother Andrea, the victim of a tragic accident last month. The Organizing Committee of Torino 2008 World Design Capital, in accordance with all the participating institutions, has decided to dedicate the exhibition to Andrea Pininfarina.
“This exhibition bears witness to the great vocation in research and innovation that Piemonte has demonstrated and continues to demonstrate in car design, one of the strategic assets for development in Torino and Piemonte,” declared Andrea Bairati. “The automotive sector also actively involves the world of education in Piemonte, from the Politecnico to Design Institutes, which have always represented a pool of young talent for local companies.”
“Dream” - one of the main events of Torino 2008 World Design Capital – is a stroll through almost 60 years of creativity that convinced the world of carmakers – and consumers – to accept new stylistic features, to demand greater performance and safety, to create new ways to adapt car interiors to the many demands of business and leisure.
Alessandro Barberis explains what convinced the Chamber of Commerce to support the event: “The numbers speak for themselves: in Piemonte, the automotive sector has roughly 950 businesses, 108,000 employees and the best results in Italy, with an increase in turnover in 2007 of over 9%. Our region is a grand and historical capital of automobiles, design and Italian style. Thus, what better place than Torino to show the dream of cars. And what better time than now: the year during which our city is the World Capital of Design.”
There are 54 one-off examples and hundreds of objects (scale models, sketches, drawings, projects) illustrating the ceaseless transformation in taste, aesthetic parameters and technical details from the post-war period to today. Visitors will see how the 1950s and ‘60s were stellar years for creativity, but also how these decades were highpoints for design know-how that began to be developed in Italy in the early 1900s.
The 1954 Fiat V 8 sports sedan with a fibreglass body was designed by Fabio Rapi and is a fine example of “European” culture and its perception of automotive elegance. These were also the years when Italy was fascinated by the “American dream.” Size as an expression of power and success; cars with prominent hoods, radiator grills, fenders and fins; chrome detailing and frills for automobiles that sailed the streets as though they were the sea or the sky.
Gilda, the car that was built in 1955 by Ghia and designed by Giovanni Savonuzzi – who named it in honour of the American actress Rita Hayworth – is an emblem of the carefree optimism of that period, which reached these shores a few years later through films and literature. This extraordinary example, which today belongs to a collection in California, returns to Torino and is certain to be the object of affectionate curiosity of young people and aficionados who are attracted by evolutionary phenomena in car design.
A photograph and a description illustrate the fascinating history of the Fiat 850 Vanessa, which was designed by Giugiaro in 1966 and was the first car that was “built for women,” with many technical solutions that were made to measure. For instance, the back window opens like a seagull’s wing to simplify putting a cradle or small packages into the car; the driver’s seat cushion rotates, thus making getting out of the car both simpler and more discreet with just a rotation the upper body. The back seat flips over and turns into two children’s seats; the dashboard features many drawers, making it a sort of travelling beauty case; and the front edges of the car project and are highly visible to make parking easier.
Among the many themes developed by “Dream,” special mention goes to the aerodynamic research that was promoted by Alberto Morelli and the Politecnico di Torino during the 1950s. This research was later developed by Pininfarina and led to the construction of the Wind Tunnel in Grugliasco (which became fully operational in 1972). The attention that was paid to how cars penetrate the atmosphere and the resulting reduction in gas consumption echoed studies being carried out in Europe, and in particular in Germany, and confirmed the intuition of Italian researchers many years before the gas crisis was sparked by the Yom Kippur war.
From dream cars in the shape of a half-shell, like the Modulo by Pininfarina – a true icon of the Exhibition – and the low, wedge-shaped prototypes that hug the road, masterpieces like the Carabo, the Lancia Stratos Prototipo by Bertone and the Manta by Italdesign Giugiaro, to shapes and soft cross-sections that approach the “pure” and theoretical forms that represented the points of reference for designing mass-produced cars starting in the mid-1970s.
At the end of the ‘70s, Torino launched other innovations in automotive architecture. Shapes – as seen in studies by Count Revelli di Beaumont – grew in height, like the Megagamma which was designed in 1978 by Italdesign Giugiaro. This car, with its flat roof and sliding back seats, introduced Europe to minivans, a concept that was then taken up by Japan and France.
Lots of space – sometimes even too much of it – became a status symbol that attracted many consumers. The dream of macro cars was counterbalanced by a desire to miniaturize, city cars to help solve the increasing problem of traffic and mobility, which was soon joined by the need to reduce pollution by using forms of clean and renewable energy.
“Dream” concludes its automotive panorama by confirming how Torino’s design centres are intent on promoting hybrid and electric systems and hydrogen power as evolutionary solutions to complement the continuous fine-tuning of technology and production processes. The one-off Sintesi by Pininfarina, Quaranta by Giugiaro and Hidra by Fioravanti are the latest proposals that were presented last March at the Motor Show in Geneva.
Research at the Politecnico, which is encouraged by local and regional Institutions, maintains its supporting role and participates in mixed projects that involve the Fiat Research Centre, the Faculty of Automotive Engineering, Torino’s schools of car design, M.I.T. in Boston, European universities and Studio Torino Design.
The dream car has become a concept; it studies complex urban territories and scenarios to ensure that the cars that are used for work, fun and leisure time also reconcile the increasingly precise needs of community life and the safeguarding of environmental parameters.
Tuesday – Sunday 10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Closed on Monday
Full price: 7 Euros
Concessions: 5 Euros
Schools: 2 Euros
For more information or reservations:
www.torinoworlddesigncapital.it - Tel. +39011218213
www.museoauto.it - Tel. +390116599872; 011677666/7; 0116502251