This year’s Michelin Challenge Design theme “HALF! Lightweight with Passion” asked participants to explore how design contributes to and impacts the ongoing effort to develop more lightweight vehicles that achieve greater fuel efficiency, and provided inspiration for a design jury who are tackling these issues in their day jobs, whether designing future Hyundai, Honda and Acura, Ford, GM or Nissan products, or moving the design community forward through educating the next generation of designers.
The 2013 Michelin Challenge Design jury is made up of designers from OEM studios, independent design professionals, and design educators. Stewart Reed, Chair of the Transportation Design Department, Art Center College of Design, serves as the Jury Chairman.
Joining Reed on the 2013 jury were:
- Chris Chapman, Chief Designer, Hyundai America Technical Center
- Dave Marek, Division Director Advanced Design, Honda R&D-Americas
- Chuck Pelly, Founder, Designworks USA, The LA Design Challenge, and The Design Academy
- Rich Plavetich, General Manager, Nissan Design America
- Frank Saucedo, Director, General Motors Advanced Design Studio
- Freeman Thomas, Director, Strategic Design, Ford Motor Company
- Geoff Wardle, Director of Mobility, Industrial Design, Art Center College of Design
In discussing this year’s works, Chapman felt “there were a lot of aspects to it that really had to force people to think…not everything that’s lightweight is going to be only carrying two people. It is a challenge, and I think most of them lived up to that aspect.” Saucedo, having served on this jury XX times, says that Michelin Challenge Design “not only test the younger students, it tests professionals, so I think it’s great.”
Newcomer Chuck Pelly had this to say: “The incredible work that this competition has contributed is inspiring, and I really didn’t know the scope until today.” Plavetich also joined the jury for the first year, and says, “It’s always fun to come to an event like this, where you’re looking at entries submitted from young people all around the world…you have these solutions coming in from all around the world, some of them way out there maybe. But there’s usually a grain or a nugget of something in there, there’s something that can inspire you, to take back to my job at Nissan and make our vehicles much more interesting.”
Several of the jurors this year have given their time to this competition many times. Among the veterans were Chapman, Marek, Saucedo, Thomas, and Wardle. Newcomers included Plavetich and Pelly. The jury evaluated the works at a private meeting in July 2012, with criteria including: relevance to the theme; concept originality; design value and quality; developmental potential; and design displayability.
After reviewing and selecting works for the 2013 challenge, the jury worked together to develop the the 2014 Michelin Challenge Design competition, “Driven/Undriven.” The 2014 Challenge opened on October 1, 2012. Final submissions are due June 1, 2013.
“Through the quest for vehicle weight reduction, designers have to consider factors such as expressions of safety and style within a lightweight package and how these guide the materials selection and fabrication processes,” said Stewart Reed, Chair of the Transportation Design Department, Art Center College of Design, and Michelin Challenge Design jury chairman. “Addressing the real-world challenges that advanced vehicle designers face has been a hallmark of the Michelin Challenge Design and the 2013 theme continues the legacy of identifying the talented designers who may help create tomorrow’s vehicles.”
In its twelfth year, Michelin Challenge Design has received entries from more than 5,000 aspiring designers from more than 100 countries.
“Now more than ever, successful automotive design relies on close cooperation between design, engineering, manufacturing and planning,” said John Moloney, vice president of original equipment marketing for North and South America. “The experts that make up the Michelin Challenge Design jury understand the art and science of automotive innovation.”