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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
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
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
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
What advice can you give to those looking to prepare their folios for getting
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
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
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 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.
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