Andrea Pininfarina

fiat::individui radicali – compagni sociali

Excerpts from the video interview*

I am convinced that the human being, the human individual, contains a concentration of all of nature’s aspects, and is nature’s fullest achievement. In the human being, the animal is coupled with intellectual and cultural abilities, with the capacity for communication, with interest and curiosity and the thirst for knowledge, with everything that comes together in what we see as culture and intelligence. So I think that if things had gone any further—and this thought may appear to be limiting—but I feel all the same that if things had gone any further there might have been the risk of making some kind of mistake.

Fiat, for me, in Turin, refers first of all to the automobile. But if we set these cars aside and turn our thoughts to what fiat really means, I think of becoming, of evolution, "and then there was light," fiat lux; for me that’s all involved with a sense of becoming and development. And in the whole field of applied science, there’s nothing, I believe, which has shown so much development—past and present, and also with potential for future development in the course of the coming years—as the field of design. It shows a constant flow of creativity, and a constant commitment to the principles, say, of functionality, and of paying attention to the needs of the consumer. So this sense of becoming which I find in the word fiat is completely in line with what I see as the possible future of the development of design.

There are many possible opinions on the nature of the forces that determine innovation in present-day design. And there’s no denying its tendency to do its best to grasp and interpret the market’s tastes. But I was also saying before that what’s really important in current design lies in the way it approaches its problems. That’s what I see as most distinctive.

I’d say that the great designer, the great creative thinker, somehow even knows the trick of shaping public taste, and of offering ideas that the public on its own would never expect. The great designer knows the trick of creating values, perceptions and attitudes—positive values—that the public never knew before. So there would never be a way for market research to discover them. This is the one great talent of the great designer, the ability, say, of somehow identifying tendencies.

Globalization is a great opportunity for the redistribution of wealth; but there’s also the question of how we want to implement it. If globalization reduces to a way of creating an even greater gap between the rich who are always getting richer and the poor who are always getting poorer, then clearly we’re looking at its negative possibilities. But I also see that globalization can work to the advantage of the emerging countries. They enjoy the advantage of production costs which are very much lower than what one finds in the already developed countries, and that’s a great opportunity for development. They have the great opportunity to produce all sorts of goods at much lower cost. So from this point of view, there’s a great opportunity for the redistribution of wealth, a great opportunity for making things better for everybody. But it’s a process, and we have to know how to direct it.

Our world is incredibly sensitive to questions of economic success; but even so, I remain convinced that creativity holds the upper hand. It wins the battle with economics since the only people who’re able to achieve success are the ones who know the secret of always being innovative within their own creative process. So, no, I’m convinced that the most decisive thing is always creativity, even in this world which is so attentive to economic issues.

*) Video-DVD fiat::individui radicali – compagni sociali
Interview with Andrea Pininfarina, DV PAL, 5 min, 2003
Recording and editing: Wolfgang Rebernik
Editorial department: Doris Ladstaetter
Production: Thomas Feuerstein
Video interview Andrea Pininfarina, ital. Originalfssung (mpeg1, 340Kbit/s)