The Language of Speed


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

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Events Calendar

  • “Summon the Sea! Contemporary Artists and Moby Dick” Exhibition

    Oct 11, 2019
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Jepson Center

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    10:00 AM - 2:00 PM @ Collegiate Church of St. Paul the Apostle

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  • SS Savannah (1819-2019)

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    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Ships of the Sea Museum

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  • Savannah Philharmonic Chorus Auditions

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    10:00 AM - 2:00 PM @ Collegiate Church of St. Paul the Apostle

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  • "Portrait of the Artist" Exhibition at Telfair Museums

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  • 17 South Haunted Forest

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    7:00 PM - 11:00 PM @ 17 South

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    Oct 04, 2019
    7:30 PM - 11:00 PM @ Alee Shrine Temple

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  • Wicked South Haunted Corn Maze

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    All Day @ Madrac Farms


  • Tanger Outlets Pink Campaign

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    All Day @ Tanger Outlets Pooler

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  • 2019 Halloween Event

    Oct 19, 2019
    All Day @ Bass Pro Shops

    Free Halloween Event!  *October 19 & 20 and October 25-31  * Weekends: Noon-5pm * Weekdays: 5pm-7pm *October 31: 4pm-8pm Free...

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    All Day @ Savannah Moose Lodge

    Official 2019 Haunted Forest Dates: October 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 18th, 19th, 25th, 26th, 31st, Noveber 1st & 2nd.

  • 2019 Savannah Speed Classic

    Oct 24, 2019
    8:00 AM - 3:30 PM @ Hutchinson Island

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    4:00 PM - 7:00 PM

  • Pace Lap Party

    Oct 24, 2019
    5:00 PM - 7:30 PM @ Ellis Square at City Market

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    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Savannah Station

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  • Friday Concert Series

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Scenes of the South

Georgia Historial Gala Pre-Party

After one and a half years of renovations, Mr. Richard C. Kessler has restored the Armstrong Mansion, a National Historic Landmark, to its original 1919 grandeur and which was unveiled earlier this year. On Saturday, Oct. 19, Mr. Kessler hosted a private cocktail reception at his residence, Armstrong Kessler Mansion, prior to the Historic Savannah Foundation gala, where he received the Historic Savannah Spirit Award, recognizing his restoration efforts.

Anne Pappas Grand Opening

Anne Pappas Interiors celebrated the Grand Opening of their new full-service design studio and showroom at 101 W. Liberty St. in the heart of Savannah’s National Historic Landmark District, on Thursday, Oct. 10. “This inspiring space will allow our talented team of designers to provide exceptional creative services to clientele who appreciate the art of design,” said Pappas. A member of Coastal Living and Southern Living’s exclusive Designer Network, Pappas offers a fresh, inspired approach to interior design, incorporating a variety of textures and design elements inspired by nature, travel and global style. Pappas and her team welcomed guests with light hors d’oeuvres and cocktails at the event.

Savannah Film Alliance Honors Gala

Glitz and glamour were galore at the Savannah Film Alliance Honors Gala celebrating the Savannah Entertainment Industry as Charles (Bo) Bowen and his team orchestrated the event of the year. The night was unforgettable for all, but even more so for many hard-working and deserving individuals who were recognized for their contributions to the local film and television industry

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Kendra Scott gives back with Bitty & Beau’s Saturday, Sept. 28. Kendra Scott gave 20% the proceeds of their sales from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to Bitty & Beau’s Coffee. Bitty & Beau’s, which aims to provide jobs and change the way people see those with special needs and disabilities, provided muffins and coffee.

Brews for a Cause September at Mansion on Forsyth

South magazine in collaboration with Southern Eagle hosted Brews for a Cause at Casimir’s Lounge at the Mansion on Forsyth Park on Thursday, Sept. 26 in a successful effort to raise money and awareness for CURE Childhood Cancer.

Savannah Hospice Gala

Hospice Savannah celebrated 40 years of the “Art of Living” at the Landings Plantation Ballroom on Thursday, Sept. 25.

Latin Dance Party Featuring Gino Castillo & The Cuban Cowboys

The 38th Annual Savannah Jazz Festival hosted a Latin Dance Party, which featured Gino Castillo & the Cuban Cowboys on Thursday, Sept. 25 at the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum. Castillo - the Afro-Cuban jazz singer and percussionist – led the Charleston-based Cuban Cowboys as they brought patrons to their feet, dancing the night away to his funky–jazz, high-energy tunes.

Grand Opening Studio 60 | Body Brite

Studio60BodyBrite owner and girl boss Bobbie Ciaccio unveiled Savannah’s newest salon to the public by hosting a grand opening, “Pink Party,” on Friday, Sept. 13.

The Laughter After: George Montero's Visual Art Show

Savannah's art world gathered at the Cork House, Thursday to experience the award winning SCAD graphic design professor, Jorge Montero's opening exhibition of paintings, drawings, prints and more!

Buy Local's Big Barn Business Bash

Brews for a Cause at Husk, August 22, was truly an unforgettable night, featuring live music by Thomas Claxton and some fantastic craft beer by Southern Eagle — along with the top-notch cuisine of Chris Hathcock. A variety of incredible auction items benefited the Royce Learning Center and the Chatham Academy, including a pearl necklace from International Diamond and several rounds on the Bacon Park Golf Course!