From iconic car designs to famed musical instruments, Giorgetto Giugiaro has turned his talented hand to a number of different disciplines, including yachts. Ahead of his appearance at the BOAT International Superyacht Design Festival, BOAT shines the spotlight on some of his most legendary and intriguing designs.
Crowned Car Designer of the Century in 1999, Giorgetto Giugiaro enjoys a successful career that has spanned almost seven decades. While most well known for cars, the designer’s portfolio also features motorcycles, cameras and yachts.
“My inspirations are so various and unconscious that I can’t say precisely where they come from with some kind of verification of everything I see and hear: starting from architecture, but also artistic expressions such as paintings and pictures that you can see in museums or exhibitions,” says Giugiaro.
With such a long and colourful career behind him, BOAT takes a moment to round up some of his most beloved designs ahead of his appearance at the Superyacht Design Festival. Giugiaro will be speaking about his approach to design at the event, which is held between June 22-24 in Milan.
Great Organ of the cathedral of Lausanne
In the Swiss city of Lausanne, the Cathedrale of Notre Dame hosts one of the most unique instruments in the world; a 7,000-pipe, 40-tonne double-console organ that took ten years and 150,000 man-hours to build. It is the first organ to be created by a designer, rather than an engineer, as well as the first organ to contain all four of the principal organ styles. Its complex design comes from Giorgetto Giugiaro.
Giorgetto Giugiaro is responsible for the design of the Fiat Panda, one of the most recognisable and best-selling cars in the world. In 40 years, production of the Panda has reached over 7.8 million units. The design is one of Giugiaro’s favourites. “The project I am most attached to is the Fiat Panda, if I have to choose a production car,” he says.
Pasta might not seem like the obvious choice for an esteemed car designer, but Giugiaro’s designs are rooted in maths and physics. Marille pasta, Giugiaro’s invention, has been created to hold the condiments as opposed to absorbing them. Compared to rigatoni, Marille has a ridged section on the concave part as opposed to the convex part that creates an even distribution of condiments.
The official basketball of FIBA (International Basketball Federation) worldwide has been designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro. The basketball upgrades the classic eight-panel to 12 panels and features a ring etching that makes it instantly recognisable, while maintaining the classic basketball look.
The ‘Back to the Future’ car
Giugiaro is widely known for the DMC DeLorean, the car that starred in Back to the Future. His portfolio also includes the Maserati Ghibli, a car which he's very fond of. Meanwhile, he says he has "a special bond" with the Chevrolet Corvair Testudo. "[It] was my first prototype and the first car designed by me that was presented at an international motor show, in 1963 in Geneva," he says.
Abbate Exception 90
Delivered in 1995, Abbate’s 28 metre Exception 90 model features exterior design from Giorgetto Giugiaro. It’s able to achieve a hugely impressive top speed of 48 knots, and there are a number of other models in the same series to cater to all types of buyers. Speaking about his approach to design, Giugiaro says it’s hard to define beauty. “To me beauty is in the right proportions,” he says. “The same goes when talking about a car or a boat.”
Giugiaro is the design mind behind the 250 GT “Competition” Berlinetta SWB Speciale Bertone, 1959 and 1962 editions and a Ferrari GG50 concept car. Whether Giugiaro is designing Ferrarris or Fiats, the approach doesn’t change. “The principle when approaching a project is always the same, I use the technique of figure drawing, I design with the mathematics and in scale with all the verified measures,” he says.
As well as cars and yachts, Giugiaro also lent his design eye to trains. Notably, the FS Class ETR 460, a high-speed tilting train that was first introduced in 1993. Measuring 236 metres with a maximum speed of 155mph, the train boasts capacity for 480 passengers and is recognisable for its bold red and white livery.
Seiko Speedmaster wrist watch
Giugiaro began designing watches with Japanese brand Seiko in 1983 with the launch of four "Speed Master" watches, one of which was worn by a character in the 1986 film Aliens. His series of watches is an eye-catching blend of sporty style offset by unique touches, such as the asymmetric face.
Comar Clanship 58
One of the yacht that Giugiaro and his team designed is the Comar Clanship 58, a 17 metre Italian-built model characterised by low-slung, broad styling. It’s topped by a generous flydeck with a sunpad spread on the foredeck and wide passageways around the superstructure to allow for easy access to the rest of the boat.
Giorgetto Giugiaro will be speaking at the Superyacht Design Festival between 22 - 24 June.Buy tickets here