“Designing simplicity is one of the hardest jobs a designer can be given” says Walter de’ Silva, an advocate – since his appointment as design supremo for the Volkswagen group – of a return to formal purity, to an aesthetic that stands out and can be understood without resorting to pointless ornamentation.

The new Golf is a child of this philosophy, it is a “stable form coherent with its history, and that is clear and legible in its expression”, after 34 years and over 26 million units sold worldwide.

The car has a dual role: to continue the lineage of one of the definitive Volkswagen models and to rediscover the DNA of the brand, to indicate the direction that future products from Wolfsburg will take.

“We told ourselves: you can’t just design a car like the Golf without thinking about what will be happening to the range over the next ten years”, begins de’ Silva.

On the specific request of Volkswagen Group president Martin Winterkorn, twenty months before the car’s launch date and with the architecture already defined, de’ Silva and VW Group creative director Flavio Manzoni rapidly set to work to redesign every line, surface and detail of the future Golf VI, in collaboration with VW brand style director Klaus Bischoff and his team.

The article continues in Auto & Design no. 173

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