Stricken by a Lancia Stratos photograph, Robinson decided that he would become a car designer when he reached sixteen. After his art degree in 1978 at Seattle University and the Industrial Design master the following year, he moved to Europe. At the Frankfurt car exhibition, he introduced himself to all of the car manufacturers. He gained experience at Open Design, Ghia and then he worked as a freelancer. In 1984 he was hired by the Centro Stile Fiat, a collaboration which lasted for nineteen years. In 1996 he was nominated head of the Centro Stile Lancia, the actual manufacturer of the car that inspired him when he was young.
In 2009, he was called by Lilli Bertone to manage Stile Bertone, looking after the evolution of the historical brand towards new successes. Fiat Bravo and Brava, Lancia Dialogos, Lancia Thesis, Thesis Limousine for Pope John Paul II, interiors and exteriors of the Frecciarossa 1000, Jaguar B99 are only some of his works. A contagious and charming enthusiasm that he manifests during his public speeches. His skill as a motivator is well-known. “I think that beauty is sought in this way: first treasuring certain beautiful solutions from the past and then pushing your imagination towards the future. Overall, when a designer is facing some obstacles, they’re stimulated to give the best of themselves in the design” Michael Vernon Robinson.