Walter de Silva is a man who knows a thing or two about styling; after all, he is in the business for the last 40 years.
The Italian designer has worked at the I.DE.A institute under award-winning architect Renzo Piano, who designed the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the New York Times Building. In the automotive field, he has some pretty impressive designs in his long resume such as the Alfa Romeo 156, the Seat Tango concept, the Audi A5 and the VW Scirocco.
De Silva, who joined Audi in 2002 to become VW Group’s head of design overseeing all brands from Skoda to Bugatti in 2007, believes that the “overdesign” school, which began with BMW's Chris Bangle and his "flame surfacing" that has since been adopted by many automakers, is becoming obsolete.
“We are convinced that the long period of overdesign, too many lines, too much styling is dropping down”, de Silva told Automotive News on the sidelines of the VW Up launch in Tokyo.
The 61-year old Italian believes that simple, clean design, as showcased by VW's latest models like the Golf, is the way to go because it stands the test of time much better.
“People want to understand what they buy”, explained de Silva who has adopted this principle in the VW Group newest models. “There is a certain security in our design. When you know that it keeps the resale value, it’s important for a family. That’s our intention”, he added.
While we don’t profess to know better than signore de Silva, our take is that the styling of his best automotive creation so far, the Alfa Romeo 156, is anything but simple with its bold details, even if it doesn’t hold its resale value as well as VW rivals, but then again, that has nothing to do with the car's design…
By Andrew Tsaousis