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 Los Angeles Auto Show announces 'Design Los Angeles' as 2005 theme


Chuck Pelly, Design Academy
Joan Gregor, Design Academy

Kevin Hunter, Calty Design Research

Joel Piaskowski, Hyundai

Chris Chapman, Designworks USA

Derek Jenkins, VW/Audi
Dave Marek, Honda

Jul 28, 2004 – Recognizing the global influence of Southern California as an automotive design center, the Los Angeles Auto Show has announced 'Design Los Angeles' as the theme for the January 2005 show. The theme is the beginning of an ongoing program to establish automobile design as an integral part of the LA Auto Show.

The region, long hailed as a leader of creativity and consumer trends, is home to the world's largest concentration of manufacturer design studios representing automakers from North America, Europe and Asia. It is also the home of Art Center College of Design, one of the world's foremost transportation design institutions.

An innovative aspect of Design Los Angeles is the integration of an automobile designers conference within the show's press days that will complement the manufacturer news conferences. Some of the design sessions will be open to media, providing journalists with access and interaction with designers.

Key elements of Design Los Angeles include a studio design competition, panel discussion with prominent automobile designers and activities that will honor the 75th anniversary of Art Center.

The most visible and creative component will be the design competition among Southern California-based manufacturer studios. Entitled 'LA Design Challenge', the competition will showcase the imagination of studio designers as they present their visions of the 'Ultimate LA Machine' in two-dimensional conceptual renderings.

Design Los Angeles is being developed in collaboration with the automotive design community. Spearheading this relationship is conference director Chuck Pelly, founder and former president of Designworks USA. Highly regarded throughout the international design field, Pelly has received numerous accolades. He has gone from sketching go-karts for Hot Rod magazine to designing race cars, snowmobiles, farm equipment, campers, catamarans and vehicles for a variety of automakers. He is a former Art Center instructor and counts J Mays, Chris Bangle and Freeman Thomas as among his many students who have gone on to greatly influence automobile design. He also has lectured extensively abroad and was a past president of the Industrial Design Society of America. This past month, on June 26, the Eyes on Design committee in Detroit recognized Pelly's achievements by presenting him with the prestigious Lifetime Design Achievement Award.

Pelly has been working closely with the show's Design Advisory Board, which was created to further involve designers in creating programs for Design Los Angeles. Seven prominent designers comprise the board to represent the Southern California-based design studios. Advisory board members have been identifying issues that will be of interest to designers and helping to establish the framework for the long-term development of the conference.

"The LA Auto Show is going to relate to design and designers in a way that no other auto show has done," Pelly says. "This will be the first time that design studios have worked together to create a forum where they can exchange ideas and discuss common issues facing designers at an auto show."

Participants in Design Los Angeles:

The Design Academy, Inc.

Chuck Pelly, Joan Gregor

Design Advisory Board

Chris Chapman
Director, Automotive Design, BMW Group/Designworks USA

Joel Piaskowski
Chief Designer, Hyundai & Kia Technical Center

Kevin Hunter
Vice President, Calty Design Research

Frank Saucedo
Director of Design, 5350 Industrial Concepts

Derek Jenkins
Chief Designer, VW/Audi Design Center California

Tom Semple
President, Nissan Design America

David Marek
Chief Designer, Honda Research & Development

Southern California OEM Automobile Design Studios

5350 Industrial Concepts (General Motors)
BMW Group/Designworks USA
Calty Design Research (Toyota)
Ford Design California
Honda Research & Development
Hyundai & Kia Technical Center
Isuzu Design Department
Mazda Research & Development
Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design of NA
Mitsubishi Research & Design NA
Nissan Design America
Pacifica Design Center (DaimlerChrysler)
Porsche Engineering Services Styling Studio
Volkswagen/Audi Design Center California
Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center

Further details on Design Los Angeles activities will be announced in the coming months. Press days for the Los Angeles Auto Show are January 5-6 and public days are January 7-16, 2005.

LA Auto Show website:


Copyright © 2004 Car Design News, Inc.
Last updated: Wed, Jul 28, 2004