At Mahindra, we champion innovation and world-changing ideas across many disciplines of industry. This spirit is embodied in the work being spearheaded at Pininfarina, from the Turin headquarters to its USA studio –– where Paolo Trevisan, Head of Design and Architecture, oversees the brand's Americas portfolio (USA, Canada, and Latin America). We sat down with Paolo to dive deeper into what it means to him to Rise.
What is your role, and how has it evolved during your time with Pininfarina?
I first joined the Pininfarina team in Italy in 2000, where I was elevated to the role of Chief Design Manager in 2006 and eventually moved to Miami in 2015 to contribute to the expansion of the firm into the Americas. Today, I am the Head of Design and Architecture of Pininfarina America. In our US based studio we have a multidisciplinary design team responsible for managing and delivering projects for the American continent.
My design work spans experience in industrial design, architecture and interiors, nautical and aeronautical design projects. I have managed more than 100 initiatives, including projects for Coca-Cola, Motorola, 3M, Cisco Systems, Bovet 1822, The City of Miami Beach, Related Group,Cyrela (the result of which was the firm’s first residential tower), Pasqualotto>, amongst others.I also served as a Jury member of the ADI – Associazione per il Disegno Industriale and recently sat on the board of jurors of the 2019 American Architecture Awards hosted by the Chicago Athenaeum.
Could you tell us a bit about your design process?
We continue evolving and expanding our design capabilities to provide full experiences as we navigate in an increasingly “phygital” world. We pay special attention to the relationship between the design and its users to create an emotionality and a connection that is memorable.
Our design history is reflected in our lines, our design philosophy, and the pursuit of innovation and timeless beauty. The aesthetic, engineering and design approach has been handed down from generation to generation through nine decades of history. In the 80’s Pininfarina also expanded its design scope to consult on industrial design, interior design, and architecture as a natural progression of our design explorations. Today, we are a global design house with offices around the world.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I am passionate about the way in which architecture and design influence and represent the world. The role of a designer is to craft the human experience communicating ideas and emotions via the physical space. I am inspired by the ever-evolving relationship between the individual and society, an observation that constantly feeds our creativity.
In your opinion, what makes Pininfarina so special?
The design philosophy of Pininfarina originates from our Founder, Battista Pinin Farina. “Above all, it must be beautiful.” Though each of his automotive designs were different, they were united by a characteristic purity and beauty. His work, and consequently, our work, is about aesthetic choices filtered by technical reasoning and vice versa.
When we speak about beauty we are thinking about aesthetics, ergonomics, proportions, materials, and the expression of their functionality and performance. It is also about a design that is simple and intuitive and yet has character. We are challenged to imagine the future, technology and research help us stay on top of trends and bring innovation to our projects, always human-centered. As a company and as individuals, we are in a continuous evolution. Our brand is known for its commitment to innovation and our goal is to create a design that is impactful, that inspires emotion and creates memorable and enjoyable moments for those who interact with it.
How is the American team different than the Pininfarina team in Italy?
The Pininfarina design philosophy is the same across our company and having a local presence in the US provides value added for our clients allowing a local perspective for their regional projects that is strengthened through our parent company’s global reach.
Working within the US, Canada, and Latin American markets, Pininfarina of America’s design scope includes product design, architecture, and other means of transportation such as nautical, trains, helicopters, and airplanes.
What is the corporate culture like?
At Pininfarina we are continuously searching for innovation while always keeping our values of Essentiality and Elegance focused on the Human and their interactions.
We also have a very creative team of international, multidisciplinary designers, architects, engineers, and creatives that bring together skill sets and experiences that enhance our design process. Most of all it’s about the teamwork which gives us the flexibility to continuously evolve and learn.
What project are you most proud of?
Every project has its own story that makes it unique and special. Today the most important one is bringing our heritage and vision to the Americas while keeping the soul and values of Pininfarina alive.
We have many exciting projects across our region including several built architecture projects in Latin America. Cyrela by Pininfarina was the first completed and built residential project in the Americas, in Brazil, for developer Cyrela. The project has been awarded with the iF Design Award and the International Architecture Award. Our second residential tower with Cyrela,Heritage by Pininfarina, has recently been completed this past October. In addition, we have several other residential towers under construction in Brazil in the region of Santa Catarina. Vitra and Yachthouse which have both also been internationally recognized. Most of all I am very proud that we have built strong and long-lasting relationships with our clients, having completed multiple projects together.
If you could design anything, what would it be?
We have designed many things, from cars to pens; from skyscrapers to timepieces. We enjoy broadening our activities from product design all the way to the creation of an Industrial Design Language (IDL) for an important technology company.
More than dreaming of specific products, we envision designing the entire journey and user experience.
The world has evolved rapidly thanks to an ongoing digital transformation, recently accelerated by the specific needs related to the global pandemic we are facing. We see that Design can play a very important role in this necessary transformation, and we want to be part of it by humanizing the innovation.