Thirty years of automotive design and thirty years of Auto&Design. There could have been no more appropriate theme for the sixth edition of Autostyle, held in Mantua on October 7 and 8, the annual competition for young designers organised by Berman and the company’s CEO Roberto Artioli.

While the workshop draws prominent names from the design world every year, this edition – especially planned to coincide with the anniversary of our magazine – was more special than ever, with the Sixteenth century Palazzo Te, the former summer residence of the Dukes of Gonzaga, hosting a star studded collection of illustrious designers and key figures in the motor world. The list included Giorgetto Giugiaro, Paolo Pininfarina, Walter de’ Silva, Wolfgang Egger, Patrick Le Quément, Lorenzo Ramaciotti, Chris Bangle, Donato Coco, Ryoji Okazaki, Robin Page and Antonio Rosti, Filippo Perini, among others. The world’s leading lights in creativity came together to pay tribute to the Italian school of design.

The central theme of the event was a competition in which twelve students from car design academies, selected from an initial shortlist of 70, were tasked with reinterpreting models for which Berman produces components. Alongside this was another fascinating side to the event – with covers and articles from Auto&Design and the recollections of the magazine’s founder and editor Fulvio Cinti retracing the past thirty years of automotive design. Each of the contributors had their own piece of history to tell: an invaluable collection of experiences, not without the odd humorous quip, such as when Giugiaro described his Fiat Panda as “a fridge on wheels” to illustrate the profound changes in play at the time of its creation. And one of the most significant of these changes, as Cinti pointed out, was the transition from the concept of style to the concept of design: “the former was too restrictive for the complexity of the design process, and doomed – in the absence of further substance – to remain a cultural and artistic factor”.

The article continues in Auto & Design no. 179

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