'Utopia' by Owen Ready. Click for larger images
'Honda Cub' by Sam Jilbert
Offshore sports catamaran by Alec Knight
Future Metro train by Kevin Wyse
Jul 20, 2005 - The 14 students graduating from the BA (Hons) Transportation Design course based in Newcastle in the north east of England have been exhibiting their work in their studios at Northumbria University as well as at the Lingotto building in Turin, Italy. The summer degree exhibitions were held in June.
The work students exhibited comprises of either a major concept or evaluation project as well as competition work submitted early in the final year. Final thesis projects are chosen by the students who are then required to secure contacts with an industry professional to evaluate their progress.
Owen says: "This project has involved some true blue sky thinking, but with real endeavour in terms of incorporating potential future technologies. I've looked at the way nanotechnology is being developed to change the way we think about the construction, use and application of materials and applied that same thinking to the car. This vehicle of the future would have no visible doors or locks - it would simply open up when you wanted to get in and seal itself afterwards. It wouldn't have any visible wheels; it would be adaptive enough to produce the tread in a manner akin to growing shoes from the soles of your feet!"
The Honda Cub motorcycle by Sam Jilbert utilises the potential for a radically revised layout, dispensing with convention due to its use of a hydrogen fuel cell. For so long has mankind had an addiction to the internal combustion engine with its limitations of form and package layout, but now totally revised and interesting concepts can be created by placing or moulding the hydrogen power-plant components in unusual and previously unfeasible forms. Sam explains: "I've based this concept around the Honda Cub, which has been around for decades and is still very popular on the continent with locals and tourists alike. The Cub is very practical but this concept takes it to a new level, with a provocative image and being environmentally responsible, the new Cub should appeal to young city professionals and the young trendy market in general."
The students have been studying on Northumbria University's BA (Hons) course in Transportation, a four year course with a successful track record producing professional design graduates for the automotive, marine, rail and aviation industries.
The course includes industrial placements and visits to companies such as Ferrari, Piggani, Pininfarina, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, BMW, Bentley and Ford, giving students access to contemporary design practice and the chance to learn through practical experience and observation. Many projects are run in conjunction with industrial sponsors, giving students access to professional designers working in the transportation design field.
There has been a great deal of interest in the course generated by the Turin show. Key links with major automotive companies have been forged with a view to continuing the courses extremely successful industrial placements program and more importantly the attainment of valuable collaborative projects.
In Turin, the students met senior design executives from a host of leading manufacturers including Frank Stephenson, director of design at Ferrari. Other visitors included Fiat, Porsche and Ford as well as leading representatives from design houses such as Bertone Stille and I-DEA.
Transportation Lecturer Rob Leeman says: "This course has been running for nine years and the standard of work on show this year is testament to the character and dedication of the staff and students. We have some fantastic blue sky thinking, together with a number of projects which have been a real collaboration with motor manufacturers such as Fiat and Alfa Romeo, which demonstrate how you can take the product to a new exciting phase, whilst still retaining the brand values."
Northumbria University website: www.northumbria.ac.uk