Interview: Quentin Amore, Car Designer

Designer Quentin Amore studied Transportation Design from IED, Turin. He is currently working as Chief Exterior Designer at Maserati. He has experience working as a Car Designer for more than a decade. He will be sharing his journey and his thoughts as an Automotive Designer today.

This interview is sponsored by MS3D Academy. MS3D Academy is an automotive digital design business and e-learning academy. The main aim of the brand is to promote Alias and to encourage more people to learn car design through basic to professional courses in MS3D Academy.

Where are you from and how's the car design scene there? 

Hello, I’m French but living in Turin, Italy, since I’m 18 years old (32 y/o now). Turin is considered the European Motorcity for a reason, everything around us here reminds us this is the Home of FIAT and Car design in general. There are dozens of Design studios (brand design centers and independents) in the area, mainly dealing with Transportation design (Stellantis design studios, Pininfarina, Italdesign… just to name a few). This being said it is not uncommon to actually meet car designers from all over the world here, ask anyone in the business and they probably passed by Turin many times to follow a concept car or to meet a supplier …etc.

When did you first think about becoming a car designer in your life?

That will sound super cliché, but I can’t remember myself wanting to do anything other than Car Designer, ever. Actually, fun fact, when I was in 5th grade the teacher asked the kids in the class what they wanted to become as adults, and when I answered Car Designer he told me that this job didn’t exist, the closest would-be engineer. I came back home very upset, and I really started looking for a path to become a Car Designer at that point.

From where did you complete your education? 

I studied at IED Turin and graduated in Transportation design in 2010.

Does the reputation of the college matter for an individual's career?

Yes and no. While the reputation of the school can allow you some visibility thanks to links with companies, in the end, the individual skills are what matters the most.

Which is the most challenging project you came across during college?

The thesis was pretty challenging as it was a sponsored project by McLaren, so we all had a big pressure to do well. I remember some wild sketch sessions and sleepless nights, but this is part of the game, I’ll redo it all over again if I had to!

Can you tell a bit about your work-life at Maserati, like how is the atmosphere at the office?

We are a small group of designers dedicated to the Maserati Brand within the Stellantis Design Center located in Turin, Italy. In our studio, we have designers from Germany, Korea, France, Argentina (just to name a few), and of course Italy. At the moment we still alternate home office and come physically to work, depending on the phase of the project we are involved in.

Do you still sketch or involve yourself in the design process after being at this high level? What motivates you and from where do you get/seek your inspiration?

Of course, I still sketch! I don’t think any designer really stops. Maybe nowadays the finality is slightly different, as I tend to evolve a theme, provoke or search for a solution, more than actually seeking for the beauty of the drawing itself. Inspiration can come from anything around you, and often it is not linked at all with transportation design. I think the key is to be curious, and always carry a sketchbook while traveling!

What's the most challenging project you have been involved in, in Maserati? 

I would say the Alfieri Concept, from 2014. The pressure was huge as the car was made to celebrate the 100 years of Maserati. The timing was super tight and it was the first time I would see a chosen theme of mine out. This was challenging but also my best memories so far, the level of adrenaline and excitement you experience while working on a Concept car is hard to beat.

How was your career path from the beginning up to today so far?

After my studies, I got the opportunity to start as an intern in Alfa Romeo in 2010. At the time the design of Alfa Romeo, Maserati, and Lancia were all under the responsibility of one director (Marco Tencone), so I was able to see what was going on in Maserati. Once I landed the job I was asked from time to time to work for both Alfa Romeo and Maserati, which was actually very interesting. Eventually, after the Alfieri, I stayed in Maserati.

In 2018 I left to go to Changan, to work in advanced Design. That was an interesting experience and a change of environment.

I came back to Maserati in 2019, where I still am today.

Which 3 things do you think we're the most challenging for a student while studying in the college/university

Personally, I think that there was only one true challenge while at University: Learn as much as possible while being with teachers that were Car Designers at the time. I do believe some students nowadays (even if it always was the case, even 14 years ago) think that attending a Design University will automatically make you become a Car Designer. Well, you need commitment if you want to succeed, a lot of it.

What are your views on future mobility?

Transportation design in general is at a very interesting point, a lot of challenges are shaping up. With electrification and new laws to push the automakers to change and adapt their way of making cars, you can imagine that Design-wise the messages to carry are evolving, if not totally changing sometimes.

What impact does covid have on the automotive industry? Include both positive and negative

The positive for me has been that companies realized we were able to deliver and work well even staying home as much as possible. Of course, when you work on full-scale models is not possible in smart working so it depends on what phase you are in a project.

The negative part was to be apart from the rest of the team, Car Design is teamwork, we passed from being 8/10+ hours a day together to only talking through the PC, so I guess socially it wasn’t the best time.

What advice do you have for upcoming transportation design students?

The industry is very demanding right now, so my advice would be to try and be as complete as possible. Do not leave any skills behind, the most adaptive you can be, the better.