'Kitsch Wagon' by Hyundai/Kia America Design Center
Lexus L500 Ultimate Hybrid by Calty Design Research
Shinzui by Mazda Research & Development
'Flügel Tür' by Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design of North America
Mini 'Canyon Carver' by BMW Group DesignworksUSA
'Goku shin ka' by Mitsubishi Research & Design of North America
Presentation by Ferrari/Maserati Concept Design chief Frank Stephenson at the designers conference
Panel discussion (l-r): Dave Marek, Frank Nouvo, Verena Kloos, Henrik Fisker, Freeman Thomas, Moderator Geoff Wardle
The designers conference kicked off with a presentation by Frank Stephenson, Director of Ferrari/Maserati Concept Design, giving a look behind the scenes at the design and manufacturing process, and outlining the design characteristics of the marques.
The conference included a number of sessions appealling to specific interests, including:
- 'Curriculum Development for Automotive Design', bringing together studio management and educators for a discussion on improving design education.
- 'Empowering Design Management'. Design studio chiefs met to discuss the challenges they face in managing an advanced studio.
- 'Designer Development: Steps to building your career'. For staff designers, this session adressed self-empowerment, motivation and career opportunities.
- 'Color and Materials: The Next Trend'. Color and material specialists addressed global trends, and looked at how satellite studios can communicate new trends to corporate headquarters.
- 'Modeling in Tomorrows World'. Model makers discussed the contempary issues affecting the profession, roles and opportunities.
- 'Students Seminar: Inside the Studio'. Adressing what really happens inside the design studio, and how to prepare for a career in automotive design.
Later in the day were presentations under the title 'Performance Design'. Gini Morelli and Pete Melvin, world leaders in the design of racing and production catamarans discussed the challenges they faced to achieve award-winning designs and sailing records.
Jon Sharp, Advanced Composites Engineer at Lockheed-Martin Skunk Works, presented the story behind the Nemesis, the worlds fastest four-cylinder airplane.
Wrapping up the conference was a panel discussion featuring Henrik Fisker (former Director of the Ford's California Advanced Product Creation), Verena Kloos (DesignworksUSA), Dave Marek (Honda Research & Development), Frank Nouvo (Nouvo Design), Freeman Thomas(Pacifica Design Center), and moderated by Geoff Wardle (Art Center College of Design).
Animated Design Challenge display at the LA Auto Show
'Performance Design' presentation by Jon Sharp, Advanced Composite Engineer, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works
Themes of the panel discussion included:
- Should the designer be 'out front'? Is it the role of the designer to communicate directly with the public, and the regulators, to help make radical changes in the type of product?
- Do we have to wait for fuel cell technology before changing vehicle architectures?
- Will more women in industry enable changes in the way we design cars?
- What is the next technology that will make cars more exciting?
- What are we doing now in design that will seem ridiculous in the future?
Some of the most intense discussion was on the theme of the possible future divergence of the car into two streams: 'relaxing automated transport' and 'drivers cars'. Freeman Thomas envisaged a future where vehicle types have diverged, where there are still pure sports cars, but also automated, private transportation solutions for use on congested freeways the 'mobile lounge'. Designing both of these would be part of the vehicle designers future role. Others were not so sure about automated transport solutions Henrik Fisker felt many drivers would still like complete control of the car, and to drive a sporting car, even in heavy freeway traffic. "A sports car is one of the last things in the world where you can have complete control... and several hunded horsepower under your foot".
The event finished with a reception for the 75th anniversary of Art Center College of Design, held in conjunction with the LA Auto Show Sneak Preview night.
LA Auto Show Gives Preview into Design Competition