“I learned early on that you don’t design with lines — rather you design by merging forms, volumes and shape.”
Jason Castriota is an Italian-American industrial designer. Born and raised in New York, he holds a BA degree in Filmmaking and Mass Communications from Emerson College in Boston, MA. After studying briefly at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena he obtained an internship under his teacher and studio chief Ken Okuama at the Pininfarina design studio and decided to stay in Turin rather than return to the U.S. to complete his studies, pursuing his lifelong dream of becoming a car designer.
Pininfarina is the most famous of the Italian coach builders, or carrozzeria, and the most respected automotive “tailor” in the world, developing concept or show cars but also production models for the likes of Ferrari and Maserati. As head of Pininfarina’s special projects department, Castriota produced two custom-tailored versions of Ferraris for private clients: the P4/5 for the collector James Glickenhaus and the 612 Scaglietti, for the enthusiast and investor Peter Kalikow. He worked on the early stages of another one-of-a-kind car, an updated version of the 1970s Lancia Stratos, done for the auto collectors and businessmen Michael Stoschek and his son Maximilian.
In late 2008, Castriota moved to competitor Stile Bertone, where he directed the Bertone Mantide, a concept built on a Corvette ZR1 chassis with an iconic carbon-fiber body. Functioning in the role of Design Director, Mr. Castriota and his team quickly put forth a unique vision in both design and marketing strategy by revealing the creation of their one of a kind “Mantide” supercar in an innovative viral marketing campaign. The provocative “Mantide” went on to be chosen as the Best Concept of the Shanghai Auto Show (by Autocar) upon its debut, as well as receiving a nomination for the prestigious Louis Vuitton award for Best Concept of 2009. The Mantide’s innovative and often imitated marketing campaign and it’s dedicated micro-site, “inside project M” paved new ground in automotive marketing and was profiled in BusinessWeek and well as being featured in a seminar at Harvard Business School. Castriota subsequently set up his own firm, with offices on both sides of the Atlantic, and then in June 2010, Saab Automobile announced the appointment of Jason Castriota as its new Design Director, reporting directly to Saab Automobile CEO Jan Åke Jonsson.
Heavily influenced by the Italian renaissance period of the 60’s and 70’s, Castriota learned in Italy to seek and value the enduring shape in auto design and has a reputation for blending the romance of supercar design (Ferrari, Maserati) with the modern recasting of a car’s heritage. Inspired by aerospace, airplane design and racing cars, he admires complexity but puts function first. As an industrial designer, his abilities can be applied across a wide range of product categories translating his talent of automotive designer to everyday stylish and functional products.