|Born||January 1, 1962|
|Alma mater||Istituto Superiore per le Industrie Artistiche|
|Known for||Fiat Multipla, Fiat Trepiùno, Fiat 500 (2007)|
Roberto Giolito (Ancona, 10 November 1962) is an Italian automobile designer. Acting as Chief Designer at Fiat, Giolito is most widely known for the Fiat Multipla (1998, exhibited at MoMA, New York), and the 2004 Fiat Trepiùno concept — precursor to the Fiat 500 of 2007, voted Car of the Year in 2008 and World Car Design of the Year 2009.
Born in 1962 in Ancona, Italy, Giolito graduated in industrial design from Istituto Superiore per le Industrie Artistiche (Higher Institute for Artistic Industries, ISIA) in Rome in 1985. For four years he worked in graphic, communications and furniture design before joining Fiat in 1989.
In high school Giolito played jazz bass, playing in a high school program with American masters including saxophonist Lee Konitz and playing through design school, earning money on the side by teaching music. Giolito continues to play jazz music, and collects vintage vacuum-tube-powered audio equipment.
Giolito has received design influence from a range of sources, including Ettore Sottsass’s Olivetti portable electric typerwriter; an early Apple II computer with which he designed his home as well as a battery-powered car with Chris Bangle — and architects including le Corbusier and Jean Nouvel.
In July 1989 Giolito won a position at Fiat, after responding to an advertisement looking for computer-savvy young designers. At the advanced design studio, Giolito penned several concept cars, including the Fiat Downtown (1993), Zic (1994), and Ecobasic (2000). At Fiat, he has designed experimental electric vehicles, sedans, sports cars (e.g., Maserati) as well as a farm tractor for New Holland.
In 2001, he was nominated to chief director at Fiat S.p.A. and is currently the head of Fiat & Abarth Design. He continues to work on new small models for the company.
In 1998 he designed the much discussed and highly controversial Fiat Multipla, both criticized and praised, achieving only meager commercial success, and was exhibited in the 1999 MoMA exhibition "Different Roads: Automobiles for the Next Century". Proclaimed "Car of the Year" by the magazine "Top Gear" and for several consecutive years was awarded the "Family car of the year".
Since 2016 he has been Head of FCA Heritage, the department tasked with safeguarding, publicising and promoting the historic legacy of FCA's Italian brands.
- Designer of the year 2009
- "Fiat's Design Approach: A Family in Harmony". The New York Times (subscription required). 1 December 2010. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
- "Il contributo di Roberto Giolito al design automobilistico moderno". Retrieved 18 October 2014.
- "Giolito dalla multipla ad oggi, 20 anni di evoluzione del design auto". Retrieved 18 October 2014.
- Bill Saporito (September 13, 2012). "All That Jazz: What Inspires Fiat Designer Roberto Giolito". Time Magazine.
- "Different Roads: Automobiles for the Next Century | MoMA". The Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 2017-03-16.