Designers (long) unknown
A big question mark hangs over the creators of the original design language of the Laurin & Klement portfolio (1905-1925) and the first decades of the Škoda brand. They remained in the background while the Czech brand went from success to success. After all, for a long time car bodies themselves were almost an afterthought, costing less than 10% of the basic price of the self-propelled chassis! Customers could have the chassis “dressed” by one of the many independent coachbuilders. But the vast majority of motorists preferred to choose from the range offered by the Czech carmaker itself, known for its high aesthetic standards and the quality of its materials and workmanship.
The exhibition features a relatively unknown Škoda 968 prototype from 1957.
It was not until the second half of the 20th century that the profession of car designer was separated from that of bodywork constructor and engineer. But even later, many global car manufacturers used the services of external industrial designers, renowned sculptors or graphic artists. In the 1950s-1990s in particular, Italian studios were at the forefront of car design. Although the original design of the Škoda 720 ID sedan by the young Giorgetto Giugiaro never made it into series production for political reasons, the Škoda Favorit designed by Nuccio Bertone’s team was the most modern car in the Eastern Bloc at the time.
Design focusing on fun and practicality – the unique Favorit FUN and Škoda Roomster
Further evolution took place in the context of the Volkswagen Group, which Škoda Auto has been a part of since 1991. The strategic partner’s strong resource base and extensive experience enabled the creation of a separate Škoda Design department. Its inspiring headquarters is a villa standing on the banks of the river Jizera in the city of Mladá Boleslav and dating from 1890, and its office in the heart of Prague is no less inspiring. Škoda Design employs people of 30 different nationalities. After all, Škoda was and is a global brand whose design has to respect the specific tastes and values of customers in more than 100 countries.