Carlo Bonzanigo Returns to Pininfarina as Design Director

Carlo Bonzanigo is returning to his roots, having been appointed design director at Pininfarina SpA where he started his career as an intern in 1995. Bonzanigo will replace Fabio Filippini, who has been at the company since 2011.

Currently design director for Q-id Industrial Design’s automotive division Q-Red — a small independent design agency in Maranello, Italy — Bonzanigo has been working as a consultant for Ferrari (once a thriving business for Pininfarina) as well as other brands. But it’s probably his time at PSA Peugeot-Citroen that sits most prominent in the minds of current designers. His new role will see him work on an array of automotive and industrial design projects, which Pininfarina has in the pipeline.

Fabio Fillipini with the Pininfarina Sergio (2013)

Pininfarina design director Fabio Filippini has been with the company since 2011

Filippini, who says the decision to leave Pininfarina was a personal one, will officially step down from his current role as design director in January 2017 to become a personal advisor to Pininfarina CEO Silvio Angori. He will continue to be responsible for on-going projects leading up to a new concept car reveal slated for the 2017 Geneva motor show in March.

Bonzanigo is well-suited to take on the challenge that lays ahead at Pininfarina. With design consultancies feeling the squeeze at both ends, the company needs to provide innovative solutions to help not only new companies but also expand the breadth of their consultancy offerings.

Working alongside PSA head of design Jean-Pierre Ploué, Bonzanigo assisted in launching the DS Brand, which has become a success story for the PSA Group in the massive Chinese market. He was named “Maître Expert Design”, promoted to design director of exteriors for advanced design (and later program director) and led international cooperation projects for PSA Peugeot Citroën Group. This has certainly not gone unnoticed.


Carlo Bonzanigo worked on the 2003 Ford Start concept while at Pininfarina

During his tenure as Citroen’s head of exterior and interior design, Bonzanigo was responsible for the 2012 DS Numéro 9, the 2011 Citroen Tubik, the 2009 DS Revolte and the 2008 DS Hypnos concept cars. The production projects created during his tenure include the 2014 Citroen C1, 2012 C4 Aircross, 2010 C3 Aircross and the 2008 C3 Picasso. He also had a hand in the design of the 2014 C1 Swiss and Me and C1 Urban Ride concepts, which highlighted personalization possibilities of the A-segment contender. All of this experience will come in handy in the increasingly challenging consultancy space.

A graduate of the Art Center College of Design in Vevey, Switzerland, Bonzanigo joined Pininfarina as a designer following an internship with the Cambiano, Italy, based design consultancy. Under the direction of then design director Lorenzo Ramaciotti, Bonzanigo designed the 2003 Ford Start and the interior of the 2001 Citroën Osée concepts. He also worked on the 2003 Maserati Gran Turismo production coupe.

Renault Initiale concept interior by Fabio Filippini (1994)

Renault Initiale concept interior by Fabio Filippini (1994)

Fabio Filippini joined Pininfarina in 2011 from his role as vice president of interior design at the Renault Group, which includes Renault, Dacia, and RSM. He is credited with creating a satellite design studio at the heart of Paris (Renault Design Paris) to feed off of the creative stimuli in the city and pushing forward Renault Design’s activities in Latin America via Renault Design’s satellite studio in São Paulo, Brazil.

Straight out of the gate Filippini went to work on a brilliant concept show car: the 2012 Cambiano concept presented in Geneva that year. The Cambiano concept, a luxury sports sedan with plug-in extended range electric powertrain, was an enticing combination of pure, cutting edge design created using sustainable materials. Besides being beautiful, the Cambiano was a very important in reestablishing Pininfarina Design’s self-worth and credibility in the eyes of prospective clients. The car went on to win a special mention at the 2014 Compasso d’Oro and was awarded the National Award for Innovation by Italian Minister Stefania Giannini that same year.

Fabio Filippini oversaw the creation of the Pininfarina Sergio concept (2013)

Fabio Filippini oversaw the creation of the Pininfarina Sergio concept (2013)

Over the course of the last six years, Filippini was responsible for the recent H2Speed show car as well as the Pininfarina/BMW Gran Lusso Coupe and the 2013 Ferrari Sergio concept, which was built on the 458 Spider platform and put into limited production. He also undertook numerous production projects that he can’t talk about.

A graduate of the Milan Politecnico Architecture and Industrial Design program, Filippini has lived and worked in Italy, France, Japan and Spain since starting his design career. His diverse and multi-cultural experience working on varied programs in and out of the automotive space certainly leaves him well prepared to tackle future design challenges.

A formal announcement from Pininfarina announcing the changes to its design leadership is expected in the coming weeks.


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