Because Italy is more than a geographic expression..

Alessi S.P.A. US

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Beauty Of Iso Grifo

Italians In Space

Italy just isn't about sexy cars, boats, planes and motorcycles. An engineering culture - and rich scientific pedigree - like Italy will naturally look to the skies and beyond.

We even have seen a couple of them honoured by the ESA including Giovanni Domenico Cassini (who helped organize the Paris Observatory) with the Cassini Mission to Saturn. Giovanni Schiaparelli who was named five times and fairly recently physicist Edoardo Amaldo.







Saturday, November 26, 2016

Friday, November 25, 2016

Lancia's Overlooked High Pedigree

While Ferrari and Porsche rightfully hog all the attention, we tend to forget other legendary auto racing cars that have proven to be consistent campions on the track in various races across the globe.

One car manufacturer with an outstanding pedigree but overlooked nevertheless is Lancia.

Particularly, where racing is concerned the Lancia Delta (Group A) and Stratos (designed by Bertone's Marcello Gandini*).

The former having won 46 World Rally Championship races and six constructors titles and the latter 18 and 3. In total, Lancia earned 10 world titles.  The Stratos was named among the 'coolest' sports cars in history (joined by three Ferrari and Maserati models) by Top Gear.

Lancia has not won since 1992 and in recent years France (led by Peugeot and Citroen) as dominated the WRC.

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*Galdini once made the short list for 'car designer of the century'. A list dominated by 11 Italians (won by Georgetto Giugiaro) and 10 Americans. Followed by 3 French designers and Germany and Sweden sharing 1 each. Incidentally, there was also a 'car engineer of the century' list compiled. That one was led by 8 who were German (with Ferdinand Porsche selected as the winner), 8 British, 3 Italian and 2 American and Austrian.

In total 14 Italians made the cut. More than any country. Not too shabby. 



Thursday, November 24, 2016

Vintage Cimbali And Ghia's Spirit In The Bat-Mobile

What is/was the Lincoln Futura?

I suppose the best way to explain it is with the following picture:



Yes, the Bat-Mobile is a Lincoln Futura. But what's that got to do with a blog that focuses on Italian engineering?

Well, turns out even the Bat-Mobile couldn't escape the omnipotence of Italian auto design as it was designed by Ghia (though the car was modified to its iconic look we saw in the Bat-Man series from the 1960s).

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I came across the fine looking espresso machine the other day.  It's a rare Microcimbali with a spring lever.

Just thought it was relevant to bring up since I enjoy espresso and building espresso machines takes a certain amount of tech design and engineering.

The closest I came to find more about it here in North America was in this youtube video:

Monday, November 21, 2016

From Middle-Class To Concept Classics

The Autobianchi company was a creation of Pirelli, Fiat and Bianchi in 1955. After being brought under the Lancia umbrella by way of Fiat, it ceased operations in 1995.



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An ode to Italy's endless stream of auto engineers and designers. Today, it's Franco Scaglione. (Lugi Rapi designed the Bianchina in the video above).

I'm a sucker for tortured brilliant minds who died penniless and with little recognition despite their work still being appreciated today.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Italy And The U.S. Forge Closer Partnership On Technology Front

Earlier this year, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles sponsored a Technology Expo at Wayne State University in Michigan looking to foster a stronger technological partnership between Italy and the United States.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

New Additions At Ferrari

Ferrari unveils two of its newest creations.

One is being pegged as the fastest convertible ever.

"The convertible supercar, called the LaFerrari Aperta, costs $2.2 million. But it was still sold out even before Ferrari (RACE) announced, back in July, that it would debut in Paris this month."

"...The convertible also has the same 217 mile-per-hour top speed as the hardtop LaFerrari. It's unusual for a convertible to be able to go as fast as a hardtop car due to the compromised aerodynamics. With the roof open but its side windows up, the Aperta is just as aerodynamic as the hardtop car, according to Ferrari."

And the other:

"Ferrari also unveiled Thursday the GTC4Lusso T, a car meant for practical daily use. It's a V8-powered version of a car that had previously been available only with Ferrari's famed V12 engine. The turbocharged V8 produces 602 horsepower compared to the V12's 680 horsepower. But it will still get the car from zero to 60 miles an hour in under 3.5 seconds, only slightly slower than the V12."


Sunday, September 4, 2016

Saturday, August 13, 2016

On The Cutting Edge Of Educational Concepts

From time to time I like to introduce some stories outside the overall theme of this blog. In this post, we take a look at some innovative developments happening in Italy on the education front. Such innovations are not new in a country where Montessori and Reggio Emilia Way (child care) originated. And so it is with Avanguardie Educative (TEAL) and La Scuola Open Source.

Excerpt:

"Threading elements of the great educational experiments of Bauhaus and Roycroft Community models together with Pierre Levy’s modern definition of “collective intelligence,” La Scuola Open Source (The Open Source School) embodies the principles of the sharing movement. Its success hinges on cooperative work, co-design, shared skills, and an open source culture. The school's 13 co-founders believe in the power of people's collaborative qualities. Their unusual constitution is testimony to this."




Italian Influence On American Design

From the Istituto Italiano di cultura in Washington D.C. comes a discussion on Italian influences on American design.

Excerpts:

"Before design as product and practice was segmented into theoretical camps like product design, systems design, speculative design and discursive design, a generation of Italian designers created works that provoked thought and proposed social commentary while simultaneously existing as products.  Ideas were made into things that could meet the imperatives of industry, which included the necessity of being made and used.  The work of design luminaries such as Colombo, Castiglione, Aulenti, Sotsass and Pesce pushed the boundaries of the design world. The relationship between thought provoking design and industry is one of the significant aspects of Italian design that has exerted a particular influence on international design and it has served as a model of flexible practice that has inspired a new generation of American designers."

"...Design is at its core a visible language. The language of design includes color, shape, form, line, scale, and function. When these elements of the design language are used together to create a series of symbols, this is considered a visual system. One question to ask based on the XXI Triennale Concepts: How can we design visual systems with visible language in a globalized world? The influences between Italian and American Visual Systems are numerous. Two examples of Italian-American influences visual systems are here in Washington, DC: the signage system for the Washington, DC Metro System, and another in New York City: the subway map, both designed by Massimo and Lella Vignelli."