2008: Jury

“Getting the design right and the right design” is not only the subject of a thought-provoking new book about attaining design leadership and creativity from author and Microsoft star Bill Buxton “Sketching User Experiences”, it is also the reason Michelin assembles a jury of the world’s leading transportation designers and educators each year to select the winning Michelin Challenge Design™ (MCD) entries.

In a two-day session, eight of the world’s leading industrial and transportation designers and educators reviewed an international collection of more than 270 vehicle designs submitted by individuals, companies and students from 51 countries, and narrowed it down to 29 works – a mix of full-size vehicles, scale models and computer-generated renderings – for a special exhibition at the 2008 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).

According to Stewart Reed, the MCD Jury Chairman and a veteran member of the program since its inception seven years ago, the vast knowledge base and international perspectives offered by this year’s jury set the stage for lively conversation and debate.

“The focus of this year’s competition challenged designers to create enhanced safety through design innovations in areas such as accident avoidance, enhanced driver controls, survivability and visibility,” said Reed. “There was a lot of discussion on how participants addressed the theme, and the idea of balancing actual safety features with an enhanced “feeling” of security in their small vehicle designs.”

The Michelin Challenge Design Jury for 2008

Pictured from left to right (top row):

Victor Nacif, VP of Nissan Design America; Geoff Wardle, Assoc. Transportation Chair-Art Center College of Design; Stewart Reed, MCD Jury Chairman and Art Center College of Desgin Transportation Chairman; Frank Saucedo, Director of GM Advanced Design-Los Angeles.

Pictured from left to right (front row):

Freeman Thomas, Strategic Design Dircetor-Ford; Luigi Colani, Legendary Industrial Designer; Dave Rand, Executive Director-GM Global Advanced Design; Geza Loczi, Director of Design-Volvo Monitoring Concept Center.

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

Luigi Colani

Legendary Industrial Designer.

Born in Berlin in 1928, Luigi Colani embarked on his extraordinary career as a designer in Paris in the early 1950s, focusing at first on automobile design. After studying aerodynamics at the Sorbonne, he spent a brief stint in the United States working for aircraft-maker Douglas. In 1953, he moved to SIMCA in France where he developed the very first fully plastic car body. Returning to his native Berlin, Colani started to devise prize-winning chassis designs for high-end car body makers Erdmann & Rossi and Rometsch.

He advanced his plastic designs which culminated in the 1960s in the shape of his compact Colani GT sports car, which was available as a DIY kit on a VW platform. In 1972, Colani established a “Designfactory” that gave a new shape to almost all spheres of life by bringing innovative shapes and revolutionary concepts to bear. In the early 1980s, Colani started work for Canon, Sony, and for carmaker Mazda, not to forget countless other companies with a lifestyle focus. His SLR camera, the T90, became world famous and in 1988 Colani’s organically shaped headphones for Sony, the very first of their kind, became a permanent display at the New York Museum of Modern Art. Colani was recently voted the “best designer in the world” by the International Automobile Association (FIA).

Geza Loczi

Director of Design at the Volvo Monitoring Concept Center.

Before entering the automotive industry, Loczi studied his craft at the Art Center College of Design. In 1980, Loczi joined Volkswagen as Design Manager, Michigan Studio. This was the beginning of his international experience.

Following Volkswagen, Loczi established his own consulting design company, Loczi Design. In 1983, Loczi worked as a consultant to Volvo through Designworks, Chuck Pelly Design, an international design office in California. Loczi then moved to Sweden, with his family, to work with Volvo. Loczi moved back to California with Volvo’s consultants, Designworks, in 1985.

In 1986, when Volvo set up their own studio in California, he was appointed Chief Designer, Volvo Monitoring and Concept Centre. Since 1986 Loczi has contributed to products such as the Environmental Concept Car (ECC), P2 cars in production today (S80, V70 and S60), and recently, the Safety Concept Car (SCC) shown recently at the Detroit Motor Show.

Victor Nacif –

Vice President, Design Business Aspect, at Nissan Design America, Inc.

His areas of responsibility include Process, Perceived Quality, Modeling, Technical Design, Administration and Human Resources at NDA’s two design studios, located in San Diego, California and Farmington Hills, Michigan. Since joining NDA in June of 2004, Nacif has been engaged in instilling better practices and organized methodology for increased efficiency and effectiveness for better coordination among Nissan Design affiliates worldwide.

Nacif has a truly international background. Prior to joining Nissan, he worked at PSA Peugeot Citroen in France for nine years in various capacities, eventually as the Director of Design from 2000 to 2004. He has lived in the U.S., England, Italy, Germany and Japan while working at Ford Motor Company for 16 years in various design management positions.

Dave Rand –

Executive Director, Global Advanced Design at General Motors

Dave is responsible for GM’s advanced vehicle design studios located in Warren, Mich., Los Angeles, Calif., and Birmingham, England.  Named as one of the Top 50 Industry Players by Motor Trend Magazine for 2007, Rand’s team leads the development of the company’s concept vehicles and explores new directions of automotive design.

Prior to this assignment, he served as the Executive Director of Interior Design Quality and Brand Character working on some of GM’s most important new products, including the Saturn Sky and Aura, Pontiac Solstice, Chevy Tahoe and Silverado and Cadillac Escalade.  As General Director of Design at GM do Brasil, Rand led the team that created the Celta, new Corsa and Meriva compact monocab.

He began his career with GM at as an associate creative designer in 1978 and went on to hold key design positions in the studios of Oldsmobile, Buick, Pontiac, Saturn and Advanced Design, the latter as its Executive Director.

Stewart Reed –

Michelin Challenge Design Jury Chairman – for the third consecutive year

is Chairman of the Transportation Design Department at the Art Center College of Design.

Stewart Reed Design in Holland, Mich., opened its doors in 1994 to consult with the automotive and consumer manufacturing industries. First among his many designs were the Meyers Manx and Manx SR.  Reed’s design career includes 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.

Frank Saucedo –

Director of Advanced Design at General Motors in Los Angeles –

Frank oversees a staff of 30 designers, sculptors, analysts and engineers.  He joined GM in 1984 as a designer with the company’s European subsidiary Adam Opel AG.  He returned to the States and served in the capacity of Assistant and eventually Chief of Design in the company’s Advanced Concepts Center.

After a brief tenure at the helm of Volkswagen’s Simi Valley, Calif., design center, he returned to GM in 2002 to lead the L.A.-based team.  Since opening, the studio has spearheaded the development of several noteworthy projects, including the Chevrolet Borrego, Chevrolet SS concept and Pontiac Solstice.

Freeman Thomas

Strategic Design Director, Ford Motor Company

Freeman leads the advanced design teams in California and Michigan.  In addition to developing product design strategies and concept vehicles for Ford, Lincoln and Mercury, his team collaborates with the company’s Advanced Product Creation team to create compelling new production vehicles.

Before 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 design career includes the 500-hp 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 –

Director of Mobility, Industrial Design, Art Center College of Design –

Geoff has spent over 20 years as a professional designer and design educator. 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 campus in Switzerland, before returning to the school’s Pasadena campus.