A stylish designed interview with Luca Serafini
This time todays episode will be done in written form as expressed by my guest instead of the usual podcast that you are all so familiar with. And in preview of the GIMS 2020 it is a fitting interview to have the pleasure to speak with Mr. Luca Serafini Italian automotive designer with a particular flair to transcript the automotive heritage to todays modern codes requirements. As a proof of concept you just need to look at his fabulous Maserati Millemiglia concept 2020 which he developed as an Homage to the 105 Maserati anniversary. Having been thrown in the Modena cauldron it could not have taken a different direction than to become a designer. Now this is where the rubber meets the road & let’s start the conversation.
Ciao Luca, the floor is yours can you introduce yourself to your public?
Many thanks Armand for your presentation and the opportunity to introduce me to Bilan's readers and listeners. My name is Luca Serafini, I live in Modena in the heart of the Motor Valley, I am 38 years old and have always had one great passion: drawing. I drew when I was a child, I drew as a teenager on school desks and I continue to draw today with the same passion even now that my childhood dream has become a real job.
As a concept designer and digital artist, I conceive the product style study and take care of the entire process: from the initial brief to the photo-realistic visualization. Then I supervise the implementation phase to make sure that the final aesthetics remains as close as possible to the concept design, defining style solutions on the go for any problems that may arise during the process.
Product in my case refers to any type of item with a special focus on luxury goods, in first place cars that have always been my priority and passion.
What is a designer profession all about?
Creativity, passion and problem-solving attitude. To communicate and express oneself in innovative solutions capable of arousing emotions and filling a need.
As I see it, a good designer must be able to stay like a child: fun, curious and able to be surprised, let the intuition flow free.
Are you a dream maker or a maker of dreams?
I am a dreamer who firmly believes in the visionary power of the dream and in the importance of perfectly mastering the tools to make it substantial; only by pursuing and firmly believing in the dream it could become reality.
How really free is a designer to express his creativity in the corporate world?
I think it depends a lot on the companies, too different from each other to generalize. It is clear that whether it is a corporate world or a freelance position, freedom is always partial and necessarily subordinated to the dictates of the market or the clients.
Pure freedom is possible only in case of a personal stylistic/artistic expression.
Can you explain the creative/thinking process behind the Maserati Millemiglia concept 2020?
The idea of the Maserati Millemiglia was born from the desire to pay homage to Maserati's 105th anniversary. It is a tribute to the craftsmen with whom I had the opportunity and the pleasure of working while developing one of the Formula Student cars at the Carrozzeria Campana Maserati in Modena. Their hard work and the passion that comes from the heart are an example to be inspired by. They are part of our heritage and must be thanked.
So I wanted to give my interpretation of the speedster trend that is increasingly spreading.
I decided to embed the slender appearance of racing torpedoes such as the 250F and 6CM in a GT-sized speedster body. The cockpit is a throne that embraces the pilot's ego. The whole structure of the car develops around him and in its function to enhance the centrality. The wheels with turbine design suggest an idea of dynamism even when the car stands still. The fluid and harmonious lines of the body are the result of an accurate preliminary study through the creation of a dense network of style splines.
Color called azzurro avio chosen for the bodywork and the beige-sand leather evokes an idea of lightness and elegance, an exaltation of Italian flair.
Where do you find your inspiration to create beautiful design?
Inspiration comes from the beauty that surrounds me. I have the privilege to live in Italy where beauty is alive, pulsating, fills your eyes and heart.
The creative path is like a promenade that you can find a lot in my amazing country: as you walk and create you always discover new shapes, lines, proportions, colors, and aesthetic canons. In most of the projects, I let the flow kick in with a hazy idea of the result. It is a perception that leads me, step by step, though an incremental discovery process, straight to my destination called the final result. We could almost say a "reverse fade effect".
Are you a self made man or do you have or had a mentor that guided you?
I believe that no one can make and realize himself, both from a personal and professional point of view. I would rather say that everyone defines themselves in the relationship, in the encounter, and the confrontation. In these years of work I have known exceptional people, superb professionals, and tireless workers, who over time has become real reference points for. I have great respect and thankfulness to those people. They have forged and shaped me in life and at work.
Do you mentor young designers?
In some of the environments in which I worked, I was a tutor of young designers and I enjoyed collaborating with young people full of enthusiasm and desire to learn. They are very curious, flexible and open-minded. When I spot some talent, I notice and feed it.
I don't know if I was able to teach them something, they are the ones who should be asked, but I hope I have transmitted the enormous passion I feel for this wonderful job and the idea that constancy and commitment are the essential basis to succeed.
If you were to be asked to give one piece of advice by a young person who would like to become a designer what will it be?
Be willing and be humble. To be honest, it is the same advice that I would give to anyone who wants to start any professional path. The will to succeed and the humility to recognize your limits and talents, comparing with others and considering what the world can offer, are the keys to be successful in what you do without any further hesitations. Success is the result of experimentation and it cannot exclude failure which of course is not a dead end. It is only the starting point for a new beginning with greater awareness of your limits and strengths.
How many books do you read per year?
If we’re talking about novels and fiction, few of them because I am not a big fan of such a genre. Instead, I read many articles, magazines, and texts related to my profession, current affairs, and even some psychology. They provide me with interesting ideas and revolutionary keys to approach the daily problems of private and working life with a different perspective. They are an incentive to reflect.
What is the definition of success for you?
Being able to turn passion into a job. Once you achieve it, be grateful for it and keep your balance by remembering to enjoy the wonderful things that life reserves for you every day.
What is more difficult to overcome the fear of failure or the fear of success?
The fear of failing, as pure fear, could be very dangerous because it could lead to paralysis or surrender even before trying.
Success - in the way that I mean it - cannot scare but it is the optimal condition.
If instead, we consider success in terms of notoriety and fame, then things change: in this case, the fear of success becomes a mix of hope and fear, we tend to success but we are afraid of not knowing how to manage and/or maintain it over time.
In the beginning, until there are no feedbacks on your work, it is easier to be afraid of failure, then as you gather consensus and make progress in your career, it comes the fear of success. Expectations and pressures increase, the desire to embrace the taste of an ever-bigger public grows and you risk to become gradually slave of consensus, especially in this world full of instant socio-shared appearance.
The only way to be able to fight this fear is to work at your best with dedication and commitment, always pushing harder.
How do you see the evolution of design in the next 10 years?
The creative process will not change but the making process of the idea will be revolutionized thanks to upcoming new technologies. This will make it possible to obtain forms and solutions that are unthinkable today due to feasibility and costs. New aesthetic and functional solutions even more integrated into our lives. Also new tools for designers who will make the concept phase faster and more effective. I strongly believe in the usefulness of these tools. I am in fact already working with a dear friend of mine on an application to speed up modeling techniques.
Grazie mille Luca for taking the time to answer our questions.
Thanks to you Armand, it has been a real pleasure. Best wishes to you and Bilan's readers and viewers.
And now discover the magnificent design of the car in video.