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Tuesday, 06 July 2021 18:33

Art, Innovation and Car Design Collide in the Life of Michael Santoro

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Michael Santoro of San Diego, CA, is a former automotive designer and inventor who now teaches car design and oversees his company MacCase, the creators of the Apple-specific case market. Michael Santoro of San Diego, CA, is a former automotive designer and inventor who now teaches car design and oversees his company MacCase, the creators of the Apple-specific case market.

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I think everyone can agree a well-designed car is a piece of art, like a Donatello or a Rodin.

While it’s true automobiles are created to transport people and things, that doesn’t devalue their design or aesthetic appeal, which is why some call them “sculpture in motion.”

 

A vehicle starts out as a series of illustrations that eventually become a clay sculpture. Throughout the process, a wide variety of sometimes conflicting priorities must be considered when creating a car design. These include the needs of the driver and passengers, the ability for the design to be manufactured and the hopes and dreams of the designer who created it.

 

Michael Santoro of San Diego, CA, is a former automotive designer who now teaches car design. He founded and oversees a company making Apple accessories, which has met with huge success, and is also a highly-respected artist known for paintings of his favorite Formula One drivers, including Niki Lauda and Ayrton Senna.

 

A native of New York City, Santoro graduated from the world-renowned High School of Art & Design, where he was a member of the first-ever industrial design high school program in the country.

 

After graduating from Pratt Institute with a bachelor's degree in industrial design, Santoro was accepted as the first-ever post-graduate design intern at Chrysler Corporation where, upon completion, he received an offer to join the staff.

 

Santoro 2 web

Santoro worked on the 1996-2006 Jeep Wrangler. This is a preliminary sketch of a sportier version of the iconic vehicle.

 

Santoro spent six years as an automotive designer at Chrysler, where he created the groundbreaking cab-forward exterior design of the 1995 Car of the Year, the first-generation Chrysler Cirrus and its sister vehicle, the Dodge Stratus. Before leaving Chrysler, Santoro penned the 1996-2006 Jeep Wrangler, bringing it back to its iconic roots while pushing it forward into the new century.

 

Landing a job as a car designer with Chrysler at 21 was unheard of. As the new kid on the team, Santoro was able to...


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