Italian Design Genius
Sensuality, Style and Substance


by Robert Cumberford

This appeared in "The Italian Avantgarde in Car Design" as part of the September 2002 exposition on Italian design in New York.

Robert Cumberford

Robert Cumberford is a long-time admirer of Stelio Frati and his designs and technical editor for Automobile magazine.

Robert gave the keynote speech at the exposition and wrote this introductory article in the book, which is technically a program, but more resembles an elegant coffee-table book.

Only a small part of the article is about airplanes

...From the time of Leonardo, Italian mastery of mechanical things has been a factor in the development of arms, of bridges, of ships and trains. The best-handling, most exciting and beautiful single-engine small airplanes -- those designed by Stelio Frati of Milan -- are of Italian design. When those giants of the sea were the best way to cross the Atlantic, the finest ocean liners were Italian. But in no field more than in the design of automobiles is the Italian genius for sensual pleasure better manifested.

and then he goes on to talk about cars....

A typical page in the book

And just following the New York show, a very jet-lagged Robert and Françoise Cumberford join Meredith and Alfred Scott and Jacques Pochoy in Paris. Left to right: Meredith, Robert, Alfred, Jacques and Françoise.