I had the pleasure of presenting the biography just written by Decio Carugati about Marco Bonetto, and that gave me the chance to know him better, to see some aspects of his character, his professional competence and his “way of designing” I was unaware of. Marco is an industrial designer in the purest sense of the term, pragmatism and innovation run in his blood, whatever the field he works in.
No doubt his Master is his father Rodolfo (whom he has been dedicating the prize Targa Bonetto for twenty years), yet it would be reductive to call him “born into an artistic family”. From his early experience as rally driver he has learned how to combine rigour and flexibility, he has planned his Design Center based on teamwork; he has extended the field of action from product design to design strategy and makes use of the most advanced 3D CAD systems for car design.
Although his core business is still the automotive industry, his projects include also the interface design and range from sports facilities to electrical appliance, from train to boat, from coffee machines to payphones: and it’s just the card phone Unmet-Sip, in 1984,that made him famous.
He has designed in all fields except furniture design, he doesn’t like it, he explains me. Instead, interior design for the cars of the near future stimulates his imagination, for technology is opening utterly new scenarios.
Soon we’ll work in self driving car and the interior will become a real workplace on the move.
The car is already the chief “workplace”, where you ring people up from, what are now the next evolutions?
A car is a thing in motion, you have to drive it, and very carefully, so the best car industries are stepping up safety systems. But the future follows a different direction.
In the future, you would never guess how near, there will be motor cars equipped with autopilot allowing, besides the usual driving, to pre-set a route. I tried one, an Audi, just a few months ago in Germany, at Munich rush hour: it was amazing! The technology is ready, the only obstacle now is a legal one.
Later on a device interfacing with the smartphone will allow to get off the car and let it park by itself.
What scenarios and evolutions do you expect for the automotive industry and the ways of working in the near future?
I expect more advanced interface systems, a total connection even between cars and a quite different concept of the interior; this microenvironment can turn into an actual office where you can comfortably sit in the back as in a drawing-room and work, alone or in a meeting mode, while the car is reaching its destination, with large screens for data and infotainment, holographic screenings that reproduce a “butler” that recommend us personalized information and a voice analyzer to ask him questions.
What does it mean to make innovation in the design industry?
To do innovation in the design industry means to apply a research process the result of which is a significant improvement not only in shapes but also in functionality (through a better technology), an innovation may be minimal (yet detectable by the user) or an entirely new concept of the product.
1, Public phone Urmet-Sip, design Marco Bonetto,1984.
2, City car Miky, design Marco Bonetto,1994.
3, Interior virtual model for BMPV Fiat Auto, design Marco Bonetto, 2000.
4, Capri lamp for Koizumi, design Marco Bonetto, 2004.
5, Car Interior Audi, design Marco Bonetto.
6, Study for Trenitalia high speed train, design Marco Bonetto, 2005.
7, Sky boot for Nordica, design Marco Bonetto.
8, Coffee machine Rancilio, design Marco Bonetto, 2015.
The car becomes a workplace: new scenarios: