Graduating from the prestigious Ulm School of Design, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche entered the hallowed engineering offices of Porsche in 1958. He set off to a good start by sculpting the first model of a successor to the 356 model line out of plasticine. In 1962 he took over as head of the Porsche design studio and stunned the world a year later with the Porsche 901 (or 911).
Over the course of seven product generations of the 911, the lines penned by F.A. Porsche have been retained.
In the course of the conversion of Porsche KG into a joint-stock corporation in 1971/72, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, along with all the other family members, stood down from the company’s front-line business operations. In 1972 he founded the ‘Porsche Design Studio’. Under the ‘Porsche Design’ brand, F.A. Porsche designed high end watches, spectacles and writing instruments. He also designed a number of industrial products, household appliances and consumer durables for internationally renowned clients under the brand ‘Design by F.A. Porsche’.
Design must be functional and functionality has to be translated visually into aesthetics, without gags that have to be explained first was what F.A. Porsche believed.
“A coherently designed product requires no adornment; it should be enhanced by its form alone.”
The design’s appearance should be readily comprehensible and not detract from the product and its function. His conviction was simple, and strong : “Good design should be honest.”
His best known design also include the beautiful Type 804 Formula One racing car and the Porsche 904 Carrera GTS, now considered to be one of the most beautiful racing cars ever.
In 1968 the “Comité Internationale de Promotion et de Prestige” honoured him for the outstanding aesthetic design of the Porsche 911 while the Industrial Forum Design Hannover (iF) voted him “Prizewinner of the Year” in 1992. In 1999, the President of Austria bestowed on him the title of Professor.
Ferdinand Alexander Porsche retained a close lifelong association with Porsche AG as a partner and member of the Supervisory Board. For example, even after stepping down from front-line business operations, he contributed to the design of Porsche’s sports cars over many decades and repeatedly steered the company in the right di-rection. This was especially the case for the difficult period Porsche experienced at the beginning of the 1990s. From 1990 to 1993, F.A. Porsche served as President of the company’s Supervisory Board, thus playing a major role in Porsche A.G’s economic turnaround. In 2005, he stood down from his Supervisory Board role in favour of his son Oliver and assumed the mantle of Honorary President of the Supervisory Board.
The company reports that Ferdinand Alexander Porsche was buried in the family grave at Schüttgut in Zell am See, attended by his immediate family. An official funeral service will be held in Stuttgart at a later date.