100 Years of Alfa Romeo Design – Explained!
The new book is pure Alfisti porn and a deep dive from Centro Stile Alfa Romeo into the design language and future of the brand
Many may try, but few will succeed putting into words a true petrol head's feelings about the Alfa Romeo brand. In “2021 Passione” the new book from Centro Stile Alfa Romeo, the company's brilliant design studio takes a self-reflective look at its history, style and influences. This is the definitive petrol head's guide to the mysteries of the Alfa Romeo brand!
Photo: Michael Furman. 1971 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce, AR 1468383 lives in Santa Barbara, California and is often written about in the pages of DriveTribe. Here it is compared to the 'eternal' shape of an ‘antidecorative’ lamp from 1977.
The book is gorgeous. Every page is elegantly designed and the sparse copy is always a compelling read. It's a shame it's not a coffee table book available in a publisher's catalogue online. This is the kind of project that drives creative directors crazy. Imagine the team: art directors and copy writers in a room staring at each other and a mountain of art and design materials, wondering where to start. “I don’t know what they mean, do you know what they mean? They said Roman arches, were they kidding?”
They weren't kidding and the book’s beautiful pages pull the design threads linking past to present, and then project the brand’s design vision into the future.
The first quote from a member of the Alfa 'family' speaks volumes. On the second page we hear from Orazio Satta Puliga, head of all Alfa engineering from 1946 – 1973, and it's hard to imagine an engineer at Mercedes or BMW saying the same thing today. Orazio's words sound like a true-line running straight through the soul of everyone who works at the company: we give people experiences, not just technology.
Alfa Romeo puts its emphasis on experience, on the feeling of living with not just a car, but almost another member of the family - maybe it's the wayward but fun, exciting and won’t play by the rules member of the family. Some cars are shouty, some are fast, some are ‘capable’. Some cars just make us feel a certain way about driving, about moving, about controlling the forces of mass, momentum and inertia.
If the Alfa Romeo brand was a person, it would be Jeremy Clarkson. If you like Alfa Romeo, you will love Jezza. In fact, we like Alfa and Jezza for the same reason! They both tell us about how it feels, and not whether or not it’s good for us.
“You must own an Alfa before you may consider yourself a true petrol head” - an immutable force of nature, like Planck’s Constant.
If the design studies presented on the page are any indication, owning an Alfa Romeo is likely to be a requirement for entry into the True Petrol Head Club for a long, long time to come.
When the animals begin running the zoo innovation flourishes, rules are broken and everyone wins - everyone who isn't eaten or trampled, that is.
“2021 Passione” is well worth the seconds out of your life it will take to download. It demands a leisurely read in your favorite comfortable chair (or bog as appropriate).
To learn more about the 1971 Spider Veloce (AR1468383) on page 70, take a spin through the article archive below on DriveTribe!