L'intervista a Dave Amantea e i suoi consigli per una carriera brillante come Car Designer


How to build a Car Designer career according to Dave Amantea from Automobili Pininfarina

Passion, commitment, teamwork and ego management: these are some of the fundamental elements for a car designer according to the Chief Design Officer of Automobili Pininfarina.

A time full of opportunities for those involved in design, thanks to technological progress and new tools to enhance their creativity.

Passion, commitment, teamwork and ego management: these are some of the fundamental elements for a car designer according to the Chief Design Officer of Automobili Pininfarina.

A time full of opportunities for those involved in design, thanks to technological progress and new tools to enhance their creativity.

Read the Davide (Dave) Amantea’s interview transcription

about the evolution of Car Designers’ career

Ciao a tutti, hi everyone, I’m Dave Amantea and I’m the Chief Design Officer for Automobili Pininfarina: I’m a car enthusiastic, I love design, I love cars, motorsports, and I’m doing my dreaming job.

What has been the most significant moment in your career journey?

I think that the most significant moment in my short career is definitely when I ended up in Italdesign and working for Giugiaro and Walter De Silva.

They made me grow a lot, I learned a lot: definitely there were a lot of challenges, I did mistake but thanks to these mistakes I learned really a lot and I’m really happy to have passed through this phase, so definitely they taught me how to control the design, have an overview 360° and then control multiple projects at the same time, and I really I’m really thankful for this experience.

This was definitely a significant moment, yes.

What is the most important lesson you have learned throughout your career as a designer?

In my experience I learned that one of the most important things in a design career is understanding when your ego have to finish and then you have to start to play as a team player.

You have to play together with your colleagues and then make the design you know shining, since the paper through all the process into the production, and you need help of your friends, colleagues and boss, so this is definitely what I learned the most in this initial part of my career.

What is your vision for automotive design and sustainability? The main challenges ahead?

Maybe for answer to this important question, which I really love, we need 3 hours for talking, but the future ahead for the automotive industry to me at least from the design side is really brilliant.

I’m really lucky, we are lucky because we are in a moment where everything have to be rediscussed and, again, designer get into the game to define and envision in the future: definitely there are a lot of questions about geopolitics, investments, big investments from OEMs and nobody knows exactly where to go, but as a designer we have to use our creativity and, you know, give a vision in support of the company, and I believe that this is one of the most exciting time for a young designer to be.

I mean, honestly speaking, if I wish to be a mature design in the past definitely will be the 60s: the 60s was an amazing era but today again we have an opportunity to shape the future, guys, so we are just at the beginning, so the future ahead is really cool.

Could you discuss the Battista, the Hyper Barchetta’s design and Pura Vision concept development?

This question about the process that we use in Automobili Pininfarina for Battista and then Pura Vision and then B95 it’s something that I’m really proud of.

I set really high standards for me and my team and we created since day one a new process I’m really proud of, because I’m really focused on that: we try to use new techniques, we are looking for the best way to use analog way or, let’s say, an old way to work, you know, defining the car on a technical view, like I learned from Mr Giugiaro, but also combining to the ultra modern way to work, that is sculpturing digitally a car, so maybe using programs like Blender, and we were, I believe, one of the first companies to design cars completely in the advanced and concept phase with Blender process.

It’s something that defines really well what we are doing in Automobili Pininfarina and we are lucky: we have an heritage that is incredible and the process has to combine the past, the present and the future.
That’s why we defined our product as “Bridge”: the first one, Batista, past to present; the Pura Vision is present to future, like awake the sense and try to do design and not style; and then B95, the future.

We decided to present it to the world in the most brutal way, everything at once after four year of silence after Batista, in Pebble Beach last year, and was a brutal way but it was really efficient.

I mean, the people understand that we have a really strong vision ahead the day that we presented the cars, all cars together: we showcased how much courage there was behind this team, a small team.
Big brand, big heritage, the Heritage that Pininfarina gave us, and presenting in front of everyone the past, the present and the future it’s something that it’s priceless.

See the eyes of the customers and say “wow, you did it again”: this makes me having goosebumps already right now, so…happiness.

What skills and qualities do you consider most important for success in this field?

I’m still young, so it’s difficult to me to advise in a sort of way, or at least I believe that I’m still 20 but I’m not!

About skills, I always say to my colleagues that you can teach skills and you can train yourself to close the gap, okay, but attitude, vision, mentality, mindset, is something that have to come from your inside: so the things that I’m looking in new designers or people that are approaching to this career is skills of being curious, courage, humble, pretend to be everywhere and try to do everything, do mistake but cover the gap and, by the lesson learned become more efficient.

All this kind of attitude is not skills that is technical skills, but is basically growing the mind and this to me is the secret for having a great career: I’m still defining myself a person that is working hard and try to be a good designer, so I’m not still feeling, you know, that I’m finished.
Actually I just started, that’s why learning, making mistake, learning fast, making again mistakes and then do better: this is what I think that new designers must have.

What advice would you give to a student who wants to pursue this path?

Hard work, passion, hard work and then don’t be scared, because it’s really painful.

Really, this is definitely off the records, but I was skinny, with hair, no glasses, going to gym five times per day: now I’m fat, bold, wearing glasses…there is a cost, but maybe it’s just me!

Remember: you are just at the beginning and the journey ahead is amazing. Just never give up!

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