2007: Jury

The goals of premier automotive designers and transportation safety experts seem so diametrically opposed that the idea of putting them together in a room and asking for consensus on anything – particularly futuristic vehicle design – would seem optimistic at best.   But that’s exactly what Michelin North America, Inc. and Stewart Reed, the jury chairman for Michelin Challenge DesignTM, did when they selected “Road Safety for Everyone” as the theme for the 2007 global design competition and a distinguished group of designers to serve as the jury.


In a two-day session, eight of the world’s leading designers and safety professionals reviewed an international collection of more than 250 vehicle designs submitted by individuals, companies and students from 51 countries, and narrowed it down to 34 works – a mix of full-size vehicles, scale models and computer-generated renderings – for a special exhibition at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).

According to Reed, who has worked with the competition since its inception six years ago, today’s transportation designers and studios serve as a clearing house for everything from new technology and materials to the latest developments in the safety and regulatory arenas. “The jury had expertise in so many areas of aesthetics, technology, engineering and policy that the discussions were outstanding,” said Reed.

“The safety focus of this year’s challenge required designers to consider the vehicle’s occupants as well as those who share the road traveling in other vehicles or as pedestrians,” said Reed. “Each entry was evaluated for its accident-avoidance, occupant-protection and pedestrian-safety characteristics. The judges also looked at the commercial viability and overall visual appeal of the work.”

This year’s Michelin Challenge Design jury, in alphabetical order, includes:

Greg Brew – Director of Industrial Design at Polaris Industrial Design since 2004. Polaris designs, engineers, manufactures and markets snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), Victory motorcycles and the Polaris RANGER for recreational and utility use. Brew received his Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Design from the Art Center College of Design. He began his professional design career with Fiat Centro Stile. Brewhas held a variety of teaching roles in Europe and the United States. Prior to joining Polaris, Brew also worked in segments of BMW AG and was the director of Transportation Design for DesignWorks USA, BMW Group in Newbury Park, Calif.

Along with his duties as vice president Corporate Design, Renault, Patrick Le Quement serves as design consultant for Nissan Motors at the board level. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Hons. degree in product design from Birmingham Institute of Art & Design and is a business administration graduate of Danbury Management Centre. He joined Ford of the UK in 1968 as a designer. In 1985, he moved to Volkswagen as the director of corporate design and founded the Strategic and Advanced Design Centre. He joined Renault in 1987. Patrick is known for designing avant-garde cars for the mainstream. He has overseen the development of numerous vehicles including the Argos (1994), the Talisman (2001) and the Ellypse (2002).

Ruben Perfetti is director of design, Volvo Truck. He is an Industrial Design Transportation graduate of Art Center College of Design. Perfetti has been designing heavy trucks for the American market for more than 13 years. Before Volvo, Perfetti worked at Freightliner Corporation in Portland, Ore.

Director of Advanced Design at General Motors, Frank Saucedo joined the General Motors design staff in 1984, as a designer with European subsidiary Adam Opel AG. When he returned to the United States, Frank was assistant and eventually chief of design with General Motors. After a brief tenure at Volkswagen, as chief designer at Simi Valley, Calif., design center, he returned to GM in 2002, as Los Angeles Advanced Design Studio Director. There, he directs a staff of more than 30 designers, sculptors, engineers and analysts charged with providing a West Coast perspective to future GM products. Since opening, the studio has created several noteworthy projects, including the 2001 Chevrolet Borrego and the Pontiac Solstice. Frank is a graduate of the Art Center College of Design.

Michelin Challenge Design Jury Chairman Stewart Reed is chairman of the Transportation Design Department at the Art Center College of Design. Also a graduate of the Art Center College of Design, he founded Stewart Reed Design in Holland, Mich., in 1994 to consult with the automotive and consumer manufacturing industries. First among his designs were the Meyers Manx and Manx SR, considered one of the best-executed, road-worthy kit vehicles. Reed’s career also included nine years at Chrysler’s advanced design department; six years as the chief designer of Toyota’s California advanced design studio; and eight years as vice president of design with Prince Corporation, now part of Johnson Controls.

President and technical director, Safety Research Associates, Inc., Anthony C. Stein, Ph.D. has been involved in studying various aspects of human operator performance since 1975. His research has concentrated on impaired operator behavior (how alcohol, drugs and fatigue affect driver behavior), vision and visibility, and advanced vehicle technology. Dr. Stein has authored almost 100 published technical articles, reports and papers. He received his doctorate in psychology at Saybrook Institute, in San Francisco. Dr. Stein also holds research faculty positions in the Department of Neurology at the University of Kansas School of Medicine and in the Institute for Research in Safety and Transport at Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia.

Freeman Thomas is director of Strategic Design at Ford Motor Company. In addition to developing product design strategies and concept vehicles for Ford, Lincoln and Mercury, Freeman’s team collaborates with the company’s Advanced Product Creation team to create compelling new production vehicles. Before joining Ford, Thomas was head of DaimlerChrysler’s Pacifica Advanced Design Center. He also served as vice president of DaimlerChrysler Advanced Product Design Strategy, chief designer at Volkswagen and in design positions with Audi and Porsche.  His illustrious 22-year design career includes the 500-horsepower Dodge Tomahawk motorcycle, the “Noble American Sedan” strategy that evolved into the production Chrysler 300C, the Audi TT concept and the Volkswagen Concept 1, known today as the New Beetle.

Geoff Wardle, associate chair, Art Center College of Design, Transportation Design Department, has spent over 20 years as a professional designer and design educator. He has held both corporate and consultancy positions with various European and multinational companies in developed and developing economies across four continents. Companies he’s worked with include British Leyland, Chrysler, PSA, International Automotive Design (IAD), SAAB Automobile, Ford Australia and Tatra of the Czech Republic. He was chair of Transportation Design at the Art Center College of Design’s Swiss campus, before returning to the U.S. Pasadena campus.