At its launch in 1955, the Citroën DS was a sensation and a magnet for designers, philosophers, and politicians alike. No other automobile was able to combine form and technology so coherently and seemingly effortlessly. Radical in its implementation and revolutionary in terms of comfort and safety, the DS is one of the most innovative design icons of the 20th century.
In collaboration with Lars Müller Publishers, the Swiss architect Christian Sumi published the new edition of AS in DS by Alison and Peter Smithson in 2001. In this new publication, he analytically examines the characteristics of the classic vehicle. Carefully arranged picture series and drawings by Flaminio Bertoni and the Citroën design team, for example of the body, the chassis and the legendary hydraulics, illustrate the essay. Using advertising images Sumi critically analyzes, in both a contemporary and a philosophical context, the iconization and reception of the Citroën DS, as well as the theories arising from this phenomenon.
“a fitting eulogy for an enduring symbol of consumer fetishism on its path from delight to decay”
«Eine interessante und lesenswerte Ergänzung der DS-Literatur [...]»
– MOTORWORLD Bulletin
Author(s): Christian Sumi
With photographs by Michel Zumbrunn, Heinz Unger
Design: Karin Schiesser