In 1974 the founder feels drawn back to his childhood home and builds the Porsche Design Studio in Zell am See. To Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, the hustle and bustle of a large city is more a distraction than anything. Farm, family, mountains – this is the backdrop he needs in order to think and work in peace in the studio. He also enjoys the small circle of his employees and highly values teamwork, which he learned to appreciate in his early years in motor sports.
But Ferdinand Alexander Porsche also maintains his individuality. Acquiring more and more money does not interest him. 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 and pays little regard to the costs of industrial production. The practice deters some customers, but others grudgingly give the thumbs up. Under no circumstances do they want to forgo the prestige and guarantee of quality that the “Porsche Design” brand confers on their products. Some of these industry products – for example the “breakfast series” from Bosch and Siemens Home Appliances – prove tremendously profitable despite higher manufacturing costs.
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, notably watches and glasses. 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. A virtuous circle of success. While its fame grows and grows, however, the company itself is physically tiny. Well into the 2000s, the company has less than 10 employees. And in all these years, there have been practically no business ties to the sports car maker up in Stuttgart. Two premium brands from one family united not only by a plethora of common interests but also the exact same target demographic, nevertheless act completely independently of one another.