Con-tatto, in the manner of an exquisitely emotional approach, where the balance perceived is magical, only apparently fragile, strong in the intention that determines it: two inverted cones, of identical proportions, attract each other and are joined at the top, generating a unique and indivisible form that they are an integral part of. The most suitable colours match its development, revealing a soft, persuasive appeal. At the top, stone, clearly reused, randomly reassembled fragments of a whole that was deliberately broken. Rigor and coherence identify the creative process of Walter de Silva, a leading protagonist of Car Design. While very young, in Turin, in 1972 he was hired at Centro Stile Fiat, as a Junior Stylist. In ‘75, in Milan with Rodolfo Bonetto, he designed automobile interiors. He was invited by Franco Mantegazza and Renzo Piano in ‘78 to direct the Design Department of the Idea Institute in Turin.
During this time the Fiat VSS was created, an experimental vehicle, the first example of modular design in the automotive field.
In 1986 he assumed the responsibility for the Centro Stile Alfa Romeo in Milan. Car of the Year 1998, the 156 achieved international notoriety. The following year he moved to Barcelona to become head of design for Seat. 2002 found him in Ingolstadt with Audi “…of 2007, the A5 was my most beautiful car, not only for that period when I was head of Audi design, where the study of the single frame is linked to that of the surface treatment.t
The A5 is the forefather of a new architecture: automobile generations to come, while differing in typology, will be based on the modular longitudinal platform inaugurated by this Gran Turismo”. In February 2007, he moved to Wolfsburg as head of design for all brands within the Volkswagen Group, a position held until December 2015. The Compasso d’Oro for his career in 2011 does not neglect the interest in other things, other areas of design. Exemplary in 2012 is the M9 Titan, for Leica.
With a label of the same name, de Silva relaunched a family tradition. In the 1920’s his grandparents produced shoes for the high-end market that excelled at the time in formal and structural quality. He presented, in 2017, Form in Motion “the heel is the absolutely new stylistic architectural element. In thin textured carbon fibre, 105 mm high by 6.5 mm in diameter, available in two versions, enamelled and wrapped, slender, harmonious and sensual”. Architecture and proportions are priorities in the design ethic of de Silva.
Con-tatto, for Codiceicona in 2018, expresses the concept in furnishings. “I never intended to confuse freedom with creativity, method is the essential condition. The drawer metaphor is important to me. I act according to a mental order and I know very well which to pull out in sequence as appropriate”.
Walter De Silva