Awards Ceremony Showcases Automotive Designs from Students Around the Globe

Top automotive designers from around the globe gathered to pay tribute to the designers of tomorrow during the seventh annual Interior Motives Design Awards held last night in conjunction with the Frankfurt Motor Show.

The award for the best overall design went to Coventry University student, Philip Woodman, for his alpine sports vehicle concept. Woodman’s design won praise from the expert panel of judges which included GM Europe’s design chief for auto interiors, John Puskar, who described the winning design as a “beautiful use of form vocabulary.” Adrian Monk, a former designer for Jaguar, praised the “elegant, modern, and precise interior with an overall harmony.”

Over the past year, hundreds of design students from around the globe submitted their entries for consideration and finalists in eight design categories were selected from colleges and universities in the United States, the UK, Canada, Spain, China, South Korea, Sweden and Slovakia.

Hosting the awards ceremony was legendary automotive designer Peter Stevens whose design credits include the Lotus Elan and Maclaren F1 among others. Addressing the assembly Stevens said, “To my great pleasure the work on show tonight challenges the ‘grey hairs’ of the industry and fills me with optimistic delight. Charm and wit, combined with responsibility and sensitivity to our world, is a theme that runs throughout the talented class of 2009.”

The theme for this year’s competition was ‘sustainable and clever’ and challenged consider specific topics, including “the world of financial and ecological stress” and “the use of personal technologies” in the creation of their designs.

In addition to Puskar and Monk, the distinguished panel of judges included Nissan Europe’s vice president of design, Alfonso Albaisa; Volkswagen’s head of future affairs, Wolfgang Muller-Pietralla;

senior vice president of design for Chrysler, Ralph Gilles and vice president of design for Johnson Controls, Michael Warsaw.

Warsaw commented on the global nature of automotive design and pointed to Johnson Controls’ latest concept as a prime example. He said, “The overall theme was developed in South Korea, the seats in Germany, and the final build in Michigan with another team in Shanghai.”

Porsche’s director of design, Michael Mauer, said, “Design is now recognized as a key reason to purchase,” and pointed out that last year’s Shanghai Motor Show was the venue for the global launch of the Porsche Panamera high performance luxury sedan.

In addition to the Interior Motives Design Awards, next year’s Beijing Auto Show will also host a new design competition awards ceremony. The China Design Awards competition will be open only to Chinese students.

Posted in In the News

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