The Language of Speed


Published:

From modeling sports cars to teaching the dialect of design, Cesar Pieri is shaping the future.

Cesar Pieri speaks “Designish.” It’s a language he teaches to his students as chair of the industrial design department at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), and he is fluent. “Designish allows you to translate what only you can see onto a piece of paper,” Pieri explained. “It is one of the most beautiful languages.”

Born to an Italian family in Brazil, Pieri speaks a number of languages, but Designish is the universal language he uses to wrangle the ideas in his head into sketches then renderings then, ultimately, the final product whether that’s a Jaguar F-Type or an office phone or a Disney princess carriage (a project SCAD students took to market that is displayed in the lobby of the Gulfstream Center for Design where we met). “Everything in this room has been designed by an industrial designer. We’re surrounded by problems that have been addressed by a designer.”

Before coming to SCAD, Pieri spent six years at Jaguar concepting the company’s newest models and predicting the future of car design. “It takes four years to get from the very first drawing to production. When that car hits the market, it has a six- to ten-year lifespan,” Pieri said. “You need to make that design relevant 10 to 14 years down the line.”

At Jaguar, he was drawn to the opportunity to communicate the core values of the brand, the design DNA and the heritage of the legacy, starting with the first conceptual drawings. “It always starts with pen and paper. Every single line we make with pen and paper must communicate the muscles, the strength, the speed and that sense of beauty. It needs to look like it’s moving fast even when it’s standing still,” Pieri explained.

In the car design process at Jaguar, they would then move to clay modeling, an analog method, but one Pieri enjoyed. “I always say Michelangelo would be jealous of us,” he joked. “In clay, we have the chance to go back and fine-tune what’s essentially engineering device for moving people into something that creates this,” he took a deep breath, “Wow …You don’t know why because we control your eyes through the lines and make them travel through the body to give a sense of, again, muscles, speed, power.”

The process of creation is pretty simple — sketch a concept, collaborate on design, craft models and take them through engineering to the final product. What Pieri excels at and teaches to his students is more than the simple process. It’s that ability to divine trends decades in advance and make them real. “At SCAD, these students are the generation that will be designing the future. If you don’t speak Designish, you can’t function. They need to be fluent in those levels of communication. That’s what we teach,” he explained.

His personal art practice is naturally car-related as well. He started at Jaguar, creating sets of artworks for each car they produced. “As car designers, we always want to go further and explore different fields of design. I decided to find a way to celebrate that passion — the smell of petrol, the tires, the car itself — into something that blends those things.” So, he moved to a new medium, painting actual car bonnets (hoods to us Americans) with graffiti-like strokes and vibrant colors, communicating the speed and flash that fast cars embody. They’re mainly Jaguars, but he paints everything from Ferraris to Lamborghinis, always sports cars.

The inspiration for his pieces comes from many places, but music plays a large role. Pieri plays drums, guitar and saxophone and relates the musical process to design. “When you create music, you are designing. You put together notes and music to communicate feelings just like a car design communicates certain values.” He loves the Rolling Stones, but he’s a true Dave Matthews Band fan at heart.

As a designer, Pieri is exacting. Painting and music are where he can let loose and create without the rigidity of design software or engineering requirements. “My hoods became a way to relax and pursue this other dimension of creating,” Pieri said. “It’s all about passion, and it’s my way to celebrate that. It’s become something really impressive that I never expected.”

Pieri’s works hang in 24e Design Company on Broughton Street and in private collections around the world in Italy, England, Japan and the US.

 

The Art of Cars

Cesar Pieri’s bonnet art truly commands a room. An outgrowth of his love of car design, his bold designs communicate the love that lies in the hearts of car enthusiasts the world over — speed, passion, power, bravado. In cherry reds and English racing greens, carbon blacks and crystalline whites, Pieri’s works evoke the history and heritage of automobile travel and point in the direction of its future. The collector’s items take Pieri out of the structure of design and into the ease of spontaneous creation and represent, for his clients, the commemoration of true connoisseurs.

Check out his hood masterpieces at 24e Design Company and at designpieri.wordpress.com.

Subscribe now to the print edition, or get instant access to our interactive digital edition.

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Events Calendar

  • Live Music at Congress Street Up Speakeasy Every Thursday

    May 14, 2020
    9:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Congress Street Up Speakeasy

    Every Thursday evening, we have live music in the speakeasy featuring a rotating cast of local legends. Music starts at 9!

  • TEDxSavannah: Standard Deviation

    Jun 05, 2020
    9:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Yamacraw Center for the Performing Arts

    Guided by a mission to share ideas worth spreading, TEDxSavannah welcomes the public to enjoy live speaker presentations from area residents and...

  • Forsyth Farmer's Market

    Jun 29, 2019
    9:00 AM - 1:00 PM @ South end of Forsyth Park

    The Forsyth Farmers’ Market vendors offer a variety of local goods including seasonal produce, eggs, honey, pastured meat, bread, cheese,...

  • Beach Bum Triathlon /Duathlon

    Jun 13, 2020
    7:00 AM @ Coligny Beach Park

    The BEACH BUM TRIATHLON & DUATHLON Series rolls into 2020 with a lot of heat, salty water, and sand. This year's races promise lots more...

  • Mindful Triathlon

    Jun 14, 2020
    8:00 AM @ Coligny Beach Park

    Jiva Yoga Center and the Hilton Head Running Company are teaming up to produce the Mindful Triathlon - Hilton Head Island. What...

  • JCB Mud Fest

    Jun 20, 2020
    8:00 AM

    This year’s race will be another 5 miles or 5 kilometers of mud and obstacles – each year you ask for bigger and better...

  • 4th of July Dinner & Fireworks Cruise

    Jul 04, 2020
    7:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Savannah Riverboat Cruises

    Celebrate our Nation’s Independence with Savannah Riverboat Cruises!  Join us on board for a - one of a kind - 3 hour celebration! Enjoy a...

  • 4th of July Fireworks Cruise

    Jul 04, 2020
    8:00 PM - 10:30 PM @ Savannah Riverboat Cruises

    Join in on the fun as we celebrate the 4th of July! During the 1 1/2 hour cruise, dance to the music of our Riverboat DJ spinning your favorite...

  • Walk with the Turtles: Ossabaw Island

    Jul 20, 2020
    8:00 AM - 2:00 AM @ Delegal Creek Marina Skidaway Island

    Depart 8:00 am from Delegal Creek Marina on Skidaway Island, just outside of Savannah. After a 30-minute boat ride across Ossabaw Sound, arrive on...

  • Charleston Beer Festival

    Sep 26, 2020
    1:00 PM - 7:00 PM @ Riverfront Park North Charleston

    Thousands of beer enthusiasts and newbies alike will enjoy a day of craft beer, live music, and games, all to benefit a great cause. Charleston...

  • Charleston Beer Festival

    Sep 26, 2020
    1:00 PM - 7:00 PM @ Riverfront Park

    Thousands of beer enthusiasts and newbies alike will enjoy a day of craft beer, live music, and games, all to benefit a great cause. Charleston...

  • Nine Line Run for Wounded 5K/10K

    Oct 03, 2020
    6:00 PM - 10:00 PM

    Join the Nine Line Foundation and Nine Line Apparel this Armed Forces Day, Oct 3, 2020, for our 7th Annual 5K/10K Run for...


Show More...

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Scenes of the South

FACES OF THE SOUTH — THE TRILOGY GALLERY 5

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

FACES OF THE SOUTH — THE TRILOGY GALLERY 4

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

FACES OF THE SOUTH — THE TRILOGY GALLERY 2

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

FACES OF THE SOUTH — THE TRILOGY GALLERY 3

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

FACES OF THE SOUTH — THE TRILOGY GALLERY 1

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

February Brews for a Cause

February's Brews for a Cause was held at the Drayton Hotel on Thursday, February 27th. South Magazine and Southern Eagle teamed up to raise money through a large silent auction for the Savannah Ambucs organization. Craft Beer samplings from Wild Leap Brewing, alongside appetizers from the Drayton Hotel were offered to guests.

2020 Southern Coast Heart Ball

The American Heart Association held its annual Southern Coast Heart Ball on Saturday, February 8th at the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa. Guests enjoyed a cocktail reception with a silent auction, dinner and program, and dancing to end the evening. All proceeds went to the Open Your Heart campaign.

4th Annual Hearts for Healing Gala

Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center held its Fourth Annual Hearts for Healing Gala on Friday, February 7th at the Tybee Island Wedding Chapel. Guests enjoyed gourmet dining, dancing, and a silent auction. All proceeds from the auction benefitted the Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center's program for individuals with disabilities.

IDC Benefits the 200 Club of the Coastal Empire

The LeClerc Family owners of IDC (International Diamond Center) in Savannah 349 Mall Blvd held a benefit to support the 200 Club of the Coastal Empire on Thursday, February 6th from 5:30pm to 8:00pm. Guests enjoyed light food and drinks, while bidding on several silent auction items, including autographed footballs and helmets donated by Anthony Lanier II.

Royce Learning Center Annual Low Country Boil & Oyster Roast

The Royce Learning Center held their annual low country boil and oyster roast on Saturday, February 1st. Guests enjoyed mingling over the seafood selection. Royce Learning Center meets the needs of children and adults with learning differences and literacy needs through its unique programs.