The Challenge for 2020

Winners of the 20th Michelin Challenge Design Upcycle Announced

Young Designers from Brazil, South Korea, India, and China Take Top Honors

The winners of the 2020 Michelin Challenge Design global competition were announced today. Michelin Challenge Design is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and is a featured program of the Movin’On Summit, the world’s premier gathering for sustainable mobility.

The theme, Upcycle, challenged artists, designers, engineers, architects, and creatives worldwide to take inspiration or elements from previously honored Challenge Design entries and create an Upcycled design that added environmental, societal, or economic value.

Through its first 20 years, the Challenge Design competition has received more than 14,000 entries from 134 countries.

The three winning entries came from Brazil, a team from South Korea and India, and China. Additional Upcycle Juror Award winners came from China, South Korea, Columbia, India, France, United Kingdom, Indonesia, Italy, and the United States.

“In addition to our timely and relevant themes, an essential part of Challenge Design’s prestige and continued success is due to the support of our jurors, who spent two days in virtual meetings to review the entries and select the winners in these extraordinary times. We are incredibly grateful for their support,” said Nick Mailhiot, chairman of the 2020 Challenge Design.

The Jury for the 20th Challenge Design was comprised of:

  • Chris Chapman, Senior Chief Designer, Hyundai North America,
  • Dave Marek, Acura Executive Creative Director, Honda R&D
  • Craig Metros, Design Director, North American Truck/SUV, Ford Motor Company,
  • Louise Pelletier, Directrice, Center of Design, University of Quebec at Montreal,
  • Stewart Reed, Head of Transportation Design, Art Center College of Design,
  • Frank Saucedo, Design Director, General Motors,
  • Thomas Sycha, Head of MINI Exterior Design, BMW Group, and
  • Freeman Thomas, Global Strategic Design Director, Ford Motor Company (retired).

The 2020 Michelin Challenge Design Upcycle Winners:

First Place: Dayvid Almeida of Brazil for his entry, “Volkwagen MUT.E.”

“It is really important to think about mobility as a complex organism that we could design for our future. The first thought about Upcycle was the idea to make something great and add the value of the solutions that nature has developed,” said Almeida.

“One of the most important things that I could learn from Frank Stephenson is not dream big, but to dream huge and to try to bring the best solutions from nature.”

“The main idea of my project was to approach this problem, using the biomimicry solution based on an octopus arms that it features an ability to grasp objects. It functions basically absorbing the air by the air pistons and stretching that part, so that the vehicles can have movement in the direction desired,” said Almeida.

Second Place: Young Jae Kim of the Republic of South Korea and Dinesh Raman of India for “FarGo”.

“One of the challenges in 2020 was to understand what Upcycle meant,” said Young Jae Kim.

“Part of what made this Challenge Design different was that it focused on functionality more than aesthetics. You are going to solve greater problems,” said his teammate, Dinesh Raman of India. The two are graduate students at the Royal College of Art in London.

“We basically felt like jurors. We switched on the projector in our classroom and went through almost all the (300 prior) entries. We thought sustainability only made sense if it had massive impact both socially and economically,” said Raman.

“The whole process was really fun. We also took a great amount of inspiration from our memories of the Top Gear show that Jeremy Clarkson had to drive through Vietnam,” said Young Jae Kim.

Third Place: Mango Chen, from China, for his entry: “Michelin Moving Space”.

“In the near future, due to high population density and limited land resources, the Concept of GREAT City-high density vertical city will come true in metropolises like New York, Shanghai, and other cities,” said Chen.

“Parking fees will be very high. If the private space module can be part of our house, we will never for parking. When we want a trip, we just need to book a sharing power module with our phone.”

Juror Awards:

In addition to the three winners, the Jurors selected the following to receive Upcycle Judges awards.

Place Design Name Name Country
Judge’s Award Gemini Fred Yan China
Judge’s Award Multi-Pod Office Sunghyun Hong Republic of South Korea
Judge’s Award Greta Michael Joell Martinez Tenjo Columbia
Judge’s Award Soul-E Bonny Sunny India
Judge’s Award Eventyr Colin Heridel France
Judge’s Award Infiniti Origami Ailin Yu China
Judge’s Award Pinwheel Yibo Qiao China
Judge’s Award Circle of Mobility Seok-woo Choe United Kingdom
Judge’s Award AC-SAR Made Arya Satria Dewangga Indonesia
Judge’s Award Breath II Yuan Tian China
Judge’s Award Passage Xue Zhao China
Judge’s Award Hyperpod Pratyush Wasule Italy
Judge’s Award ReFramer Siavash Jafari Jozani USA

In all, six Chinee designers. Including two women, earned awards. India and The Republic of South Korea each had a winning entry and a Judges Award winner.

“I am very grateful for this kind of challenge, for the importance that you give us designers to imagine the future of the mobility. I think for me and for a lot of people in the auto industry, they say this Michelin Challenge Design is the most important in the world. It is very important because it brings innovative solutions… It’s really, really important for me to be featured this year as the first-place winner,” said Dayvid Almeida.

The theme for the 2021 Challenge Design will be announced in early August.