Episode 07 - The Design

Engineering Esthetics

 

Interview with
Andrea Ferraresi,
Ducati Head of Design.

Ducati is the only motorcycle brand that has ever won two times the Red Dot Award and the prestigious Compasso d’Oro. We are design maniacs and designing a Ducati is not like drawing any other bike. There are essential characters that belong only to us. Projects like Monster, 916, Diavel and Panigale each represent a milestone in the history of design for their category.

The Ducati design philosophy is built by subtraction, recognizing the purest style in the in-depth research of essential shapes. Even the aesthetics of color is built with respect for the nature of the elements. And in 1708 it is possible to distinguish with the Ducati Red the original color of the precious materials that compose it: the different types of carbon, titanium, aluminum.

We talked about it with Andrea Ferraresi, Ducati Head of Design.

“While the design of Ducati superbikes has always been extremely tech-driven, the 1708 project is a stylistic masterpiece.

The work of the design team focused primarily on making the shapes and materials speak for themselves. We worked to create an interplay of lines and depth between the Ducati red and visible carbon. 1708 is a project for which it was critical to bring out the beauty of technique. Our work has therefore been focused on letting the beauty of functional efficiency speak for itself”.

 

The 1708 project is the most advanced bike that Ducati has ever put into production. Each screw, each component, is weighed and controlled to allow the best weight / power ratio. And the aesthetic details are no exception, for which the usual stylistic licenses cannot obviously be taken.

“If the task of an industrial designer is to bring out the beauty of technology, with 1708 the task is elevated to the nth power. While on less extreme bikes we can afford some aesthetic discounts of engineering rigour, here we can’t. Not one. With the 1708 project there’s no room for 5 extra grams for adhesive and 200 grams for the special paint job. There’s not a single detail, not even an aesthetic one, that can alter performance. For all intents and purposes it was developed as a racing motorcycle.

And in this sense it is a very challenging project to work on because the designer must be very careful when making any changes, acting very discreetly yet decisively, being attentive to every detail so that the Ducati signature is unequivocally evident”.

 

 

It is customary for Ducati to dress its most exclusive designs with a livery inspired by the MotoGP of the year in which the design begins. And on 1708 there was no exception. The visible carbon alternates with solid white and red lines that aim to enhance the noble fairing material.

“The choice not to colour the wings was strongly desired, and the graphics were designed to incorporate them into the line of the motorcycle, dissolving the physical dimension into a visual dimension. This is particularly noticeable when you have the chance to move around the bike, whose proportions change and are enriched with interesting vanishing points as you get closer”.

 

 

Aerodynamics is the most important evolutionary element of this Superleggera V4 on which it was important to measure the intervention as a designer. It was a visual starting point on which to elaborate all the aesthetic details of the bike.

“The maniacal attention to detail was certainly the greatest effort in terms of design because this bike was born to race, and every visible millimetre must convey the powerful aesthetic vibration of the most exclusive racing motorcycle on the planet”.