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What first attracted you to a career in design?

Since I was a kid I always had a strong passion for cars. I used to dream about Giugiaro’s cars and Pininfarina’s concepts and tried hard to sketch what to my eyes looked like cars. I did not have access to specialized car design magazines, but one day at the age of 19 I came across an article on “Gente Motori” about Art Center in Pasadena, and my life changed!  I left my village and started a new adventure full of difficulties, but also unforgettable positive moments since the day I finally received my bachelor in Transportation Design. I am very thankful to my parents, who gave me the opportunity to go supporting me economically and with their love.

What in your opinion is the most successful piece of auto design ever?

BERTONE Lancia Stratos 1970

To what extent do you think a strong engineering background is useful to a designer?

Let’s put it this way: I am not an engineer but today I know quite a lot of technical aspects and technologies enabling me to help the engineer’s creativity and to find new ways to control quality/cost/timing. If you want to be a designer you must be curious about every part of a product, not just styling…unless of course you are a “stylist”. I am a designer which is a bit more complicated and complete as professional figure.

What qualifications are required for a career in automotive design?

A potential young designer must have a Diploma of 4 or 5 years in Transportation Design from a recognized Design school as well as a great portfolio and a strong will to work in a team.

What qualities do you see as being essential to becoming a successful designer?

The first thing I look in a design portfolio is its degree of creativity; in other words the talent potential for automotive design. The second thing is the ability in representing ideas such as rendering and sketching qualities. The third aspect is the professional manner in which it is put together and the taste in its editorial design (when sent by mail). In an interview situation I of course look at the oral presentation ability.

As a member of the Renault Design school Committee are you really trying to promote graduates?

My answer is Yes! Renault Design's objective with this committee is to monitor worldwide young talents through sponsoring projects in the most important design schools. In my case I interact with design schools in countries like: Italy, Spain, Romania, Slovak, Russia. Every time I manage a sponsored project I hope to have the opportunity to promote some students at the end of the project. The contract agreement we propose to the school is an internship at Renault Design facilities (including satellites design centers), and in some cases a real job offer.

What advice can you give to those looking to prepare their folios for getting a job?

First advice is not to rely only on Photoshop cool illustrations since we want to see your freehand drawings and renderings, too. Do not forget to include sketch books or ideation sketches in relation to your projects. Take care of your overall presentation and its rhythm; remember that your portfolio will be remembered thanks to your worst work!

Why is it important to ensure you have a good selection of freehand drawings and sketches?

A designer must be prepared to use his free hand skills to represent ideas in a very short time and in a very clear way. This helps promote their concept and aids colleagues in a design or technical meeting or the modellers to realize the ideas correctly. Now if a designer is weak in sketching on paper they will have a harder time to go to the next project steps (do not forget internal team competition). It will also be difficult to evaluate and see what could be hard to understand in the design. We see the possible evolutions in someone's quick ideas, so we can orientate choices. However, time is always short and we (management) often are concentrated on the very professional and clear sketches to start a project and choose the designers who will continue on the job. In Renault Design facilities we do not have weak 2D designers because we do not select them for hiring. In conclusion and to be clear: Photoshop abilities are important for the last part of a 2D Design project process, but the first and most important part (for choices and design strategy) is concentrated on 2D freehand ideations.

Finally, what is the most rewarding thing about working with Renault Design and cooperating with Design schools?

Working in Renault Design is extremely rewarding thanks to its culture and design philosophy. The environment is very competitive at a very high level, and this can only force all of us to produce high quality works and management activities. In my particular case I find it very interesting and important to have this opportunity to make available to young design students a part of my experience (naturally what I can) during my design school projects. I am very thankful to Renault Design management for having given me this responsibility. In particular my boss Patrick Lecharpy Vice President Advanced Design, directly reporting to Mr. Patrick le Quément SVP Renault Corporate Design.  What I try to teach is that the hard work, the sense of responsibility, the sane competition and sacrifices are very important to become a designer. Our world is highly competitive and only few will arrive!

Photos Copyright of Renault Design
LUCIANO BOVE

Luciano Bove is currently a Design Manager at Renault in France, having previously worked as Design Leader at Centro Stile Fiat in Turin. He has also taught for about twelve years transportation design courses in Italy (IAAD, IED schools) and Switzerland (Art Center Europe).  Today, as a member of the Renault Design school committee, he manages and follows up sponsored projects in Design schools…a great opportunity to communicate about Design Management. In this article we find out his thoughts on car design, and what it takes to succeed as a car designer.
page last updated; 2014-06-15
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