Journal: Which Designer Deserves More Credit?

Which Designer Deserves More Credit?

Michael Banovsky By Michael Banovsky
October 24, 2016
15 comments

At the turn of the Millennium, I was 15, had tickets to see the touring exhibition of 100 vehicles called Car of the Century, and was over-the-moon to not only see my first Lancia Stratos but to cast my ballot in favor of its seminal Marcello Gandini-penned lines. But when I started to stroll past other vehicles I hadn’t seen before, I remember being slack-jawed at seeing the Citroën DS in person—and completely ignorant to its sculptor—“Who designed this?!

As part of the exhibition, experts and the general public were invited to cast votes, which were then tallied…the Stratos didn’t end up getting mine.

I now know that the car I fell in love with that day was designed by the Italian Flaminio Bertoni, who didn’t arrive at automotive design in a traditional sense—he was a sculptor first and foremost. While many talented designers stuck with coachbuilders, styling houses, or found themselves a cog within a huge styling department that had to constantly produce “design”, history has shown Bertoni’s situation at Citroën to be unique.

He was integrated into the vehicle design and engineering teams, with the French automaker seemingly operating in an opposite way to how things are done today. In period, Citroën used to invest huge sums of money into a single technologically advanced model, which would arrive on the market with a big splash…before being sold for a decade or longer. If you’re making millions of something, it’d better start off great, right?

As a result, Bertoni’s talents weren’t wasted on reprofiling chrome bumpers or altering his designs to follow quarterly market research reports: apart from a few minor changes, the DS’ shape was stamped out nearly three million times across 20 years.

The DS (just one of the many he designed) has since been crowned as among the most beautiful ever, and a Flaminio Bertoni museum is open in Varese, Italy; both hopefully allow people to have an appreciation for what he was able to accomplish in metal, glass, and rubber.

I think everyone should know at least a bit about Bertoni—which designer do you feel deserves more credit?

Source: petrolicious.com, olitennent.com

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Chris GretaYves GLAIRON-MONDETAlexander MooreLinda N Brian SchickGuitar Slinger Recent comment authors
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Chris Greta
Chris Greta

The first time I saw a DS was in Paris when I was 21. I thought it was the ugliest thing I’d ever seen. It took 30 years in the design business to really appreciate it’s beauty and now I’ve been driving one for the last five years and never get tired of looking at it.

Yves GLAIRON-MONDET
Yves GLAIRON-MONDET

And Robert Opron us to be credited for the post-67 new headlights ….

Alexander Moore
Alexander Moore

Jan Wilsgaard and Robert Opron

Citroen_CX_Prestige_long_wheel_base_2347cc_March_1983.JPG
1963 122S.jpg
Eduardo Palandi
Eduardo Palandi

Sixten Sason (both for his work at Saab, where his basic designs lasted 15 years after his death, and for his creations for Hasselblad, Monark and Electrolux, among others).

also, Tom Tjaarda definitely deserves more credit.

tomesox100
tomesox100

I am not sure if Davis Bache of the Rover Company deserves more credits than Berolini, but he certainly deserves more credits than what is given him until now within Petrolicious.

As designer of teh Rover P5, Land Rover series II, P6, SD 1 and the arche type Range Rover, he certainly deserves that a separate topic is made about him !

Tom Feringa

Ruben S
Ruben S

Aldo Brovarone – from Dino to F40, he worked on many iconic cars

Linda N Brian Schick
Linda N Brian Schick

An ugly POS!!!

Jim Levitt
Jim Levitt

Sorry, I disagree

Derelict
Derelict

With Bangle or with the DS?

Derelict
Derelict

Everyone knows the classic names and has an appreciation for their design. A designer that truly should get more appreciation, in my opinion, is Chris Bangle. Sure, his time at BMW was controversial but he pushed them to where they are now. I mean, look at the Z4 coupe. They have a great line up and I do not even like BMWs.

JB21
JB21

I agree with you. I guess ‘appreciate’ may be a strange word to use, but Bangle definitely deserves a lot of credit to what happened to the world of automotive design. I mean, crap, look at every single car today, it’s all Bangle’d and we don’t even noticed it, that’s really the genius of Bangle, that he treated automotive design not as a product design, but as a conceptual art. Ugly and questionable Bangle cars may be, intellectually interesting nonetheless, frankly, more so than anything that came out in last 20-30 years.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

And on this I’l disagree entirely ! Yes Bangle had a hit or two .. but much like Toad the Wet Sprocket he has a whole lot more misses than hits in his repertoire . The GINA in my opinion being one of them . GINA proving that with enough pretense , blinded by science rhetoric * and marketing bs you can convince the general public on just about anything regardless of the validity and viability of that you’re trying to convince them of

* ask any engineer’s opinion

Horacio Romeo
Horacio Romeo

I still think the DS is the single most revolutionary car of the XX th century. Years ahead of the crowd. I still lust everytime I see one…

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

Well I for one am in total agreement . The DS and its progeny the SM are to this day the most advanced designs imaginable . Fact is Citroen would do well to relearn a few lessons from its glorious and innovative past