LDA Design has turned twenty. The centre founded by Luciano D’Ambrosio in Turin in 2000 has inaugurated a new headquarters and is celebrating two decades of uninterrupted design activity: “An achievement that fills us with pride, but which for us represents a starting point, not a finishing line. Our work continues with great passion and determination”, says Luciano D’Ambrosio. His career in the world of automotive design began about 40 years ago, after a degree from the Royal College of Art in London and a first job at the Ford design centre in Cologne: “However, it was here in Italy that I understood the importance of what I call styling practicality. Design must never be an end unto itself. I worked first at Italdesign, then at Bertone as Design Director: these two experiences gave me a radical training and even today I try to pass on to my designers what I have learned”, continues D’Ambrosio.
The heart of LDA Design’s activity is the automotive sector: “Our company operates in concreteness. In fact, the companies we work for often ask us to suggest an improved interpretation for an existing project that needs more personality. Or perhaps it needs innovative solutions that may be difficult to achieve within a situation where hundreds of employees follow traditional creative procedures”, continues D’Ambrosio. LDA Design also offers styling and 3D manual and digital support Eastern manufacturers: “Working with them gives us freedom to develop innovative products and ideas that are not necessarily linked to a range of products tied to rigid production processes and marketing. Here too, however, we develop projects with a very high level of feasibility, as our styling philosophy demands”.
The new design studio in Turin boasts an area of 750 square metres with some spaces reserved for the 20-strong LDA design team, an area for discussing projects and one dedicated to clients temporarily resident: “We thought we would create some rooms exclusively for our clients, so that they can work in full confidentiality inside our premises when they like and thus set up a synergetic creative process”. Luciano D’Ambrosio’s style centre handles the design of exteriors, interiors, User Experience and prototyping using the supplier network in the Turin area: “Although ours is a small firm of professionals, we are able to define a complete project thanks to the team of top class companies that have always made this city a veritable “Car Design Valley”. From the first sketches to the development of clay models, from unique prototypes to virtual reality. Here everything is possible”.
The twentieth birthday of LDA Design provided the opportunity to update the logo, giving it a more stylised, contemporary look. The origin of the graphic is the personal signature of Luciano D’Ambrosio: “We wanted to preserve the main features and not come up with a completely new logo, so as to maintain the personality of the brand. I like to think that when I sign a new project it is as if I am putting the LDA Design logo directly on to the contract”, continues D’Ambrosio, who in line with the times has given his designers freedom to continue working from home even after the lockdown imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. “The result amazed me: after a few days almost all the people returned to work in person as soon as this was possibile again. A sign that constant confrontation and human relationships are at the heart of LDA Design’s creativity”.