LA Adventure Design Challenge winner GMC PAD by the
GM West Coast Advanced Design studio
GMC PAD interior
GMC PAD designers at the LA Auto Show
Audi Nero by Volkswagen/Audi Design Center California
Honda LA Rolling Film Festival by Honda Research & Development
Hyundai Gator by Hyundai Kia America Design Center
Mercedes-Benz Mojave Runner by Mercedes-Benz Advanced
Design of North America
Presentation by BMW Design Director Chris Bangle, 'The Art of Car Design', opening the Design LA conference
Presentation by Pininfarina Chief Designer Ken Okuyama on the making of the Birdcage 75th concept
Feb 23, 2006 - The second annual 'Design LA' automobile designers conference was held in conjunction with the Los Angeles Auto Show last month. The conference bridges designers interests by providing workshops, leading design speakers, and the announcement of the winner of the annual 'Design Challenge'.
The Los Angeles area is home to 14 automobile manufacturer design studios, which were again invited to explore ideas without the restriction of production disciplines. This year's competition theme was 'An LA Adventure', which is a reflection of the myriad of lifestyle, sporting and cultural activities that are inherent to the Southern California landscape. The competition saw designers from 10 brand design studios creating concepts for vehicles that best interpreted their chosen adventure, whatever that activity might be.
The GM Advanced Design team was judged the winner for their entry, the GMC PAD, which met the challenge head-on by tackling one of the biggest adventures Los Angeles residents face: affordable housing. The PAD is a futuristic-looking, diesel-electric powered urban appartment with mobility, a creature comfort-filled concept for living in the ever-changing cultural landscape of Southern California. It is a modern alternative for those financially locked out of Southern Californias escalating housing market and provides cultural and geographic freedom for the modern city dweller. In the end, it emerged as an upwardly mobile loft.
We chose this vehicle because it was the pinnacle of creativity, said Stewart Reed, chairman of Transportation Design at Art Center College of Design. "All the entries were fantastic designs, but this was the one which took the biggest risk." In the opinion of the judges, it also created a new vehicle category, the 'LAV', Living Activity Vehicle. Besides Reed, the jury included design experts Imre Molnar, Dean of the College for Creative Studies, and Tom Matano, Director of Industrial Design for Academy of Art University. "The PAD is the true all-around vehicle,"said Matano. "This creates a new segment between the RV and the SUV.The future of this Living Activity Vehicle would appeal to many buyers including corporations, future home-owners, traveling business people and constant travelers looking to go beyond the stereotypical RV."
The GM design team consisted of Steve Anderson, Senon B. Franco III, Jay Bernard, Phil Tanioka, Sidney Levy, Brian Horton, Alessandro Zezza, Christine Ebner and Frank Saucedo.
The competitors in the 2006 Design Challenge included Volkswagen/Audi Design Center California (Audi Nero), Honda Research & Development (LA Rolling Film Festival), Hyundai (Gator), Kia (Sidewinder), Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design of North America (Maybach California Gourmet Tourer, Mercedes-Benz Mojave Runner, Smart Rescue Vehicle), Mitsubishi Research & Design of North America (Roadster Konzept MRK) and Calty Design Research (Scion Exile). The Design Challenge entries were displayed inside the LA Auto Show from 5-15 January.
The designers conference kicked off with an entertaining and thought-provoking presentation by BMW Group Design Director Chris Bangle, entitled 'The Art of Car Design', looking at car design in terms of surface and sculpture, and characterising the field of car design as "the biggest single aesthetic undertaking in human history". He also looked at how car design relates to other forms of design, and particularly how car design and architecture influence each other, with "car design closing the gap on architecture".
Design Challenge display at the LA Auto Show
Presentation by Ken Okuyama
Panel discussion: 'The impact of the new generation'
The presentation also brought up interesting questions about what the car means to people, how cars might change "to follow how people see the world", and how the way things are made can be the catalyst for macro changes in the industry.
This was followed later in the day with a presentation by Pininfarina Chief Designer Ken Okuyama, who outlined the history of design at Pininfarina, and gave a look behind the scenes at the step-by-step design process that led to the Pininfarina Birdcage 75th presented at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show.
The conference included a number of workshop sessions for designers and design educators, appealling to specific interests, including:
- Working interdisciplinary
- Teaching classic design principles
- Visualization and modeling tools
- Innovative materials, processes and color trends
- Management exchange forum
Wrapping up the conference was a panel discussion on 'The Impact of the New Generation'. The discussion centered on what makes this 'new generation' tick and how is it impacting the way cars are designed and marketed. A panel of youth experts from design and fashion backgrounds shared their knowledge on the pulse of this audience and how to best incorporate these brand values into vehicles.
The event finished with a chance for designers to catch up with friends and colleagues at the Designers Night, held in conjunction with the LA Auto Show Sneak Preview.
LA Auto Show previews 'LA Adventure' Design Challenge
Design Los Angeles 2005