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College Exhibition: Scuola Politecnica di Design Show

Wed, 10 Aug 2005

Masters students on the Transportation Design course at Scuola Politecnica di Design in Milan, Italy have recently displayed the results of a project done in collaboration with Lamborghini. Twenty students were faced with the delicious task of reinterpreting the legendary Espada, the four-seater front-engined GT designed by Gandini under Bertone in 1968. Guided by Professor Marco Bonetto, the project spanned one year and included the active involvement of Walter De'Silva, Director of Design for Audi Brand Group (Audi, SEAT, Lamborghini), and Luc Donckerwolke, Design Director of Lamborghini.

The work was exhibited at the end of June and comprehensively reflected the course of the project, from initial sketches to 3D visualizations, including Alias digital models and fifth-scale clay models.

Canadian Adrian Goring pitched his interpretation as a 'Grand Sports Tourer', a synonym recently adopted by Mercedes-Benz for the precursor to the R-Class. Despite the nomenclature, Goring targets the Aston Martin DB9 and the Ferrari 612, succinctly summarising his solution as 'hardcore'. This keyword has been embellished by suitable Sant'Agata adjectives 'aggressive, extreme and exuberant' and has been executed accordingly. His four-seater is aligned with the character of the Murcielargo and Gallardo in its contrasting overhangs and cubic volumes, while the fluid flanks still embrace the history lent by the original Espada

Israeli Amir Zaid's proposal is less aggressive, with a greater bias to the task of carrying people. His clean design's lightness aided by an expansive glasshouse, lends the interior prominence. While the others use contrast between the front and rear overhang lengths to lend extra dynanism, Zaid has minimized them, thus bringing into focus the wheelbase and the cabin within it.

Alessandro Salvagnin's revised icon inherits its profile from its illustrious muse with a particularly pronounced hood. This, accentuated by the generous grille, denotes the power of the engine. The long, low-slung car is benefited extra mystique with lights hidden behind the grille, visible only when illuminated, while the resolution of the detailing reflects current Lamborghini thinking. Salvagnin's interior also demonstrates this elongated-triangle theme, accessible via large gullwing doors.

Andrea Borgogni marries her GT proportions with a broad, aggressive front end to emphasise the heaving engine. Her proposal introduces a unique DRG that is consistent with her rhomboid rear, contrasting with Goring's proposal in having short front/long rear overhangs.

Fabio Mobilio's design focuses on complex surfacing that sets it apart from potential rivals, aiming to be overtly aggressive with haunches hovering over half-exposed rear wheels. The rear is particularly expressive, dominated by the exhaust pipes sinisterly seething in a triangular cave. Mobilio joins Borgogni and Salvagnin, as the three Italians won the attention of De'Silva and Donckerwolke, securing internships at Lamborghini that begin next month.

Scuola Politecnica di Design was established in 1954 as one of Italy's leading design schools, offering a select range of one-year courses that each specialize in a different area of design. Based in Milan, the school is well-sited, the city already home to prominent fashion and furniture design shows. Accordingly, patriotic De'Silva has furthered his interest in the college, confirming that Audi is sponsoring next year's project and that four successful applicants will win a study scholarship. With Lamborghini having set the standard for the brief, it will be interesting to see Audi's answer when the new academic year begins in October.