In 1999 Giorgetto Giugiaro was named designer of the century by more than 120 journalists from around the world. In 2001 he was inducted into the 'Hall of Fame' at the Palaexpo in Geneva. He is credited with beginning the 'folded paper' era of the 1970s in which cars took on sharp edges like the Lotus Esprite and the Lancia Delta. During the 1980's he inspired the industry to create taller vehicles with ample interior room for passengers. His accomplishments and contributions to the automotive industry are profound and his talents are undeniable.
Giorgetto was born in 1938 into an artistic family residing int Cuneo Italy. His father, Mario, created art and oil oil paintings while his grandfather, Luigi, painted church frescoes. Giugiaro continued this tradition by studying art during the day and technical design during the evening. At a school exhibit in 1955, Dante Giacosa, Fiat's technical director, immediately relized the talent of Giugiaro and offered him a job in the styling department. Upon arriving at Fiat, Giugiaro felt clostraphobic and found it hard to advance. In 1959 he left Fiat for Bertone where his true genious began to shine. He penned designs for the Alfa Romeo 200/2600 Spring, Ferrari 250 GT Aston Martin DB4 GT Jet, Maserati 5000 GT, Alfa Romeo 2600 HS, to name a few.
In 1965 he left Bertone and went to Ghia as head of the design office. His designs shocked the automotive world when he displayed his De Tomaso Pampero and Mangusta, Fiat Vanessa, and Maserati Ghibli.
In February of 1967, Giugiaro founded Italdesign meaning 'Ital Styling'. He continued to work with Ghia as a freelancer. His design studio made their first public appearance at the 1968 Turin Motor Show where they introduced the Bizzarrini Manta prototype. Since that time, Italdesign has created designs for Abarth, Suzuki, Alfa Romeo, Volkswagen, Porsche, Maserati, Audi, Hyundai, BMW, Fiat, Lancia, DeLorean, Lamborghini, and more. The designs during the 1970's began the 'folded paper' era. The vehicles were given sharp edges such as the Lotus Esprite, DeLorean DMC 12, and Lamborghini.
Since its inception, the design studio of ItalDesign has expanded into other commercial market segments such as creating designs for cameras, telephones, electrical appliances, visual identity machines, cosmetics, watches, computers, furniture, and more.
It is understandable why Giugiaro was named designer of the century. His designs and creations have helped craft the automobile styling that is enjoyed today.