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Academic Salon Design for the Future of the Joint School Car Design as a Profession

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Academic SalonDesign for the Future of the Joint School

Car Design as aProfession

We don’t need traditional designers, we need people with new perspectives and open minds.

Nicola Crea, other than a teacher, is a transportation designer and had a professional life rich in experience and achievements. He will give an overview of his professional life and will present detailed documentation about two successful projects.

•A small city car developed with a student team, which has been in production for 8 years.

•The prototype of the Alfa Romeo TZ3, built by the company I was in partnership with, won a prize as the best prototype at the Villa d’Este exhibition in 2012.

The purpose is to serve as a guideline for those interested in building a designer career and to show how is it possible to integrate different activities and engagements in an experience of a lifetime.

Speaker: Prof. Nicola Crea

Date and time: Tuesday, 12thDecember 2023, 17:00-18:00

Venue: The auditorium located on the lower ground floor of the Milan Building

Profile of the speaker:

Nicola Crea is a design manager, expert in industrial product development and university design teacher.

In 1982 he graduated from Art Centre College of Design in Pasadena, California (U.S.A.). The same year he moved to Turin where he started working as a designer for “Pininfarina Studi & Ricerche”. From 1983 to 1986 he worked as a senior designer at “I.DE.A. Institute”.

In 1986 he was hired by Fiat Auto as design manager and studio chief in charge of exterior design of Fiat cars. Later and until 1992 he became manager of exterior design of Lancia cars at Centro Stile Lancia in Orbassano. One remarkable result of his engagement is the development of the Lancia Delta Integrale.

In 1992 he started its collaboration with “Giannini Automobili”. He was engaged as director of design and in charge of new product development. In only four years he achieved the task of qualifying Giannini as “carrozzeria” in ANFIA, National Association of Coachbuilders. In 1996, at the Turin International Auto Show, Giannini, in parallel with all the major Italian coachbuilders, was invited by Fiat Auto to develop a show car based on the new Brava. Giannini presents Windsurf, a coupé with a very advanced aerodynamic concept, entirely conceived and developed by Crea.

Meantime, since 1992, he has widened his interest to the design of boats and motorcycles. He started consultancies with “Victory Design”, an engineering studio devoted to yacht design, based in Naples, and “Majestic Auto”, an Indian industry producer of motorcycles and mopeds. In both cases, Crea has the opportunity to transfer the specific knowledge and the development technologies in use in the automotive field to these other product sectors.

From 1996 to 1998 he moved to Germany to work for “Daimler-Chrysler” at the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design studio in Sindelfingen (Stuttgart).

From 1999 on, his engagements were shared between consultancies and teaching. In the following years, he was involved with the Universities of Pescara, Genova and the Politecnico di Milano as a teacher in their courses of studies.

During this period, he developed projects with several companies such as Tecnema, Picchio, Bizzarrini and Tasso (now Italcar) in many cases creating a synergy between industry and the academic world. He makes a strong contribution to the institution of CISME (Centro Interdipartimentale di Studi sulla Mobilità Ecosostenibile), a centre of studies on sustainable mobility. In 2006 he became director of this Research centre creating permanent links with other research institutions. Meanwhile, he became a member of the scientific committee as well as coordinator of all design activities for Tulton, a company specialising in new product development.

Since 2003 he has been a professor of the Politecnico di Milano where he runs courses on “Creativity tools” and a multidisciplinary “Project Lab” with a bio-engineer and performs his research activity. He is a project Tutor in the Master on Automobile Design organized with Fiat Group Automobiles 2007-2010 (Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Maserati) and with Volkswagen group since 2011. He is a member of the research unit of Advanced design (UDR ADD). He is a member of the commission for new patent evaluation for the Facoltà del Design of the Politecnico di Milano. He is also the project leader of interdisciplinary projects for the Alta Scuola Politecnica. In the years 2005-2010, he was in charge of the Strategic Design course at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Genova.

He has been President of the Scientific Committee of Milano Cardesign, a company devoted to the research, design and production of prototypes and special vehicles. He has several consultancies on design management (Natuzzi, DeA, Conrero Engineering, Cisitalia, ACTR).

From 2014 to 2019 he has been at Coventry University, UK as Course Director of Automobile and Transport Design. He has been a member of the commission for the constitution of the NTDC (National Transport Design Centre) and is responsible for the relations of the joint venture with NJUST University in Nanjing, China.