The idiosyncrasies that characterize Porsche Design can be traced back to its founder Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, his personality and his personal history. Born on December 11, 1935, the eldest of four sons of Dorothea and Ferry, Porsche spends countless hours of his childhood in the Stuttgart design office and development workshops of his grandfather, Ferdinand. When the vagaries of war compel the entire family and company to move to Austria in 1943, Ferdinand Alexander attends school in Zell am See. Meanwhile his father Ferry begins work on his first sports car, which becomes the Porsche 356.
After the family returns to Stuttgart in 1950, Ferry Porsche forms the Porsche sports car manufacturer out of his father’s design studio. Ferdinand Alexander finishes secondary school at the Waldorf school and enrolls at the College of design in Ulm before joining the family firm as a designer in 1958. His first great challenge is designing what would become the Porsche 911, making him the father of the iconic sports car.
In 1972, driven more by the need to create than a promising business model, he founds Porsche Design in Stuttgart. The Porsche company is among the first to commission a project. The sports car manufacturer is in search of a suitable gift for employees of longstanding service. It commissions a watch and commits to buying 20 units per year. Otherwise, Ferdinand Alexander and his small team spend most of their time working on pursuits that interest him personally.
In 1974 the founder feels drawn back to his childhood home and builds the Porsche Design Studio in Zell am See. Ferdinand Alexander Porsche also maintains his individuality. The idea of expanding his company to take on ever more external orders is foreign to him. Instead, he uses his financial independence to enable him to design products the way he sees fit or not at all. The customers from industry who come knocking in ever greater numbers find a partner brimming with creativity, but disinclined to make compromises. Porsche Design does not think in large volumes; it uses – as with its own products – high-quality materials.
In spite of its single-minded purpose, Porsche Design has always had a two-pronged approach. On the one hand, it designs its own products in Zell am See – a process that has produced numerous design classics. On the other hand, it works with the same passion and unwillingness to cut corners for industry. The Porsche Design brand sharpens its profile, raises brand awareness & creates desires.
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