Peugeot, for its 130 years in Italy, wanted to engage with those who have shaped or will shape the future of design, and those who are at the forefront of thoughts and projects concerning design and innovation. Following is an exchange of perspectives with Thierry Lonziano, Managing director Peugeot, and Emanuele Pangrazi.

Thierry: Welcome to the first episode of “130 Good Reason.” We are here at the Design Week in Milan. I have many questions for you, Emanuele, as we are very interested in knowing how design, technology, and innovation develop. We would like to know how your career as a designer started.

Emanuele: I’m not sure if you born to be a designer, but personally, I felt it as a need for evolution and knowledge. My luck was understanding that through design, I could pursue this result. For me, designing is about learning every time, putting myself in a position to explore and discover something new.

Thierry: So, exploring and discovering, what is the most significant challenge you have ever faced in your work?

Emanuele: Mostly, because I didn’t follow a traditional path, starting as an independent designer allowed me to continue doing this work.

Thierry: In your opinion, how do design and technology work together?

Emanuele: I believe that technology is essential in service to a vision. Technology is to design as marble is to a Mannerist sculptor, it’s there, but it needs to be unveiled, and design serves this purpose.

Thierry: So, in essence, do you think the world is a bit more beautiful with a touch of design?

Emanuele: Obviously, also with a bit of technology.

Thierry: What project are you most proud of? Perhaps the most important one for you.

Emanuele: Well, I’m an enthusiast, so the last idea is the one I’m most proud of, at least for the first five minutes. 

Thierry: Emanuele, have you ever thought about designing a car?

Emanuele: Certainly, I think it’s every designer’s dream. More than the style, I would like to rethink the basic concepts. What will happen when autonomous driving, for example, becomes mature and accessible to everyone? At that point, we will become passive users. So, we will have a passive attitude. The concept of physicality will disappear. It’s an important paradigm shift that needs to be rethought not only theoretically but also explored and investigated. Moreover, it will change the perception of space and time inside the car.

Thierry: Did you know that ten years ago we invented the Peugeot i-Cockpit? What do you think about it?

Emanuele: I must say it’s a step forward. From an ergonomic point of view, both the shape of the steering wheel and its size are interesting. The concept of maneuverability is important, but most importantly, it’s very interesting that the instrument panel has been raised, so the driver has the possibility to have all the data directly in their field of vision. This is very important for safety.

Thierry: What does “Design for People” mean?

Emanuele: I think “Design for People” refers to a design focused on people’s real needs.

Thierry: What are the trends that you can imagine in design? In which direction are we heading?

Emanuele: I see more and more electric vehicles. Autonomous driving is making giant strides. Then we have the sharing economy, which is obviously influencing mobility in some way.

Thierry: Okay, so we have just seen Emanuele l’auto “arca” that we designed together with Dembski, a visual artist and street artist. What do you think about this alliance between art on one side and design on the other?

Emanuele: I think it’s very interesting. These are important aspects that overlap. Design is connected to specific constraints, while art is completely free, free to explore. Regarding the 9×8, I’m fascinated, mainly by its design, its streamline, and the type of communication the artist proposed. I think it fits perfectly. It reminds me a bit of gaming from the early ’90s. And I think it aligns well because gaming and racing have some things in common; they bring common values such as adrenaline and challenge. Overall, it’s a great project.

Thierry: Interesting, a bit of history inspiring the future. Peugeot has just celebrated its 130th anniversary, and in Italy, the first-ever car to circulate was a Peugeot in 1893. So, 130 years have already passed. How do you envision the next 130 years?

Emanuele: That’s a difficult question to answer. I hope that the design of the future will take the shape of balance, respect, and equity. I hope it will be a light future.

Thierry: So, you see a better future, an optimistic vision. That’s great! I agree!

A tribute by Emanuele Pangrazi to Peugeot, developed using AI and PS.