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Looking back – Ferrari

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very early Ferrari, possibly an 815 from 1940.

In early 2018, there was a show of Ferrari history at London’s Design Museum. In the city briefly, I was at the Science Museum, to see the redone mathematics and calculation exhibit by Zaha Hadid. It was quite lovely, but I  missed the older display, as it had many alternate stories, instead of one being pushed for the new audiences (= youth) in the new display. With some time left, went to the Design Museum to see this Ferrari show. It had good reviews, but so much of the hype around Ferrari is distorted. I mean, yet another and how good could it be?

It turns out, very good. Remarkably so. It focused not so much on the glory as is so often the case but rather on a thoughtful investigation into the magic of making. On display was much historical material, especially treasures from the very early years. A video of how to work the model of a body during design, going between drawing and full-size clay model, both analog and digital methodologies. A whole display case on castings and fabrications. A wall of brochures, another of the Ferrari colors. Full-size bucks. In short, a designer’s approach to their history. I was overwhelmed and short of time, and had to run to take shots of all that was interesting. One could have spent a day there.

The graphic image of Ferrari. Often seen, rarely examined. Here is the eraly work, used to make that image stronger and clearer.

For something as design-centric as Ferrari, both the product and the brand, its an approach to telling its story that one rarely sees anywhere, and not in America at all. A few shots are attached for some of this show. All in all, the show gave hope that design and the car need not always fall prey to the whims of the promotional department, as is often the case. And that as we get deeper into the issues of the car, there are others interested in the story behind the scenes. For more info, see: https://designmuseum.org/exhibitions/touring-exhibitions/exhibitions-for-hire/ferrari-under-the-skin-touring-exhibition

great shot of working on the cars

complex modeling – nice to see the raw images….

video of the design effort with the car in front. The video emphasized the need to iterate, go back and forth between the different techniques, to get it right. They explained the process very clearly and made clear that the extra step to get it “right” is quite expensive, requiring tooling, drawing, and staff all to be on hand at the same time. Interesting viewpoint and explanation.

rare original drawings. As presented to the client (Ferrari).

buck and body. How cool is that?

wonderful early material, layout of the buildings, magazines, correspondance.

famous drawing (used for a book cover of a wonderful Italian show from about 25 years ago). So cool to see the original drawing!


early schematic, use of color very primitive, but effective.

Written by Geoff

January 3, 2019 at 9:39 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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