We last reported on auto design superstar Jason Castriota in '08 and '09, when the 30-something Brooklyn native was making headlines for Pininfarina and Stile Bertone. Since then Castriota has set up his own shop, and for the first time in recent memory, a major auto designer has chosen to hire an outside firm--Jason Castriota Designs--to take the lead for their designs, rather than having an in-house team.
Castriota, 36, now takes the lead role in design at Saab, reporting directly to Saab Automobile CEO Jan Ã…ke Jonsson. He and his design company will be responsible for exterior and interior design and will lead the design activities at Saab as the brand renews and broadens its product range.
As The New York Times points out, this is kind of a throwback to the golden era of ID, when major corporations like Kodak, Polaroid and Studebaker would subcontract big-gun design talents like Teague, Dreyfuss and Loewy, respectively, to put their products on design steroids. It's also unusual for a car company to do in this day and age, so we're interested to see if this is a one-off act or the start of a trend.