DETROIT – Design an interior for a 2030 compact CUV with self-driving capabilities.
That was the challenge for the sixth annual WardsAuto Student Design Competition. Ten talented seniors from the Transportation Design Dept. at the College for Creative Studies took on the assignment, creating impressive concepts during a class sponsored by WardsAuto and interior suppliers Lear and IAC.
Five finalists were announced Wednesday at a special ceremony during the 2015 SAE World Congress at the WardsAuto booth.
The finalists are: Jeongyoo Kim, Corneal Campbell, Hey-Min Kim, Makoto Takahashi and Seung Joong Kim.
Jeongyoo Kim’s design features modular seating and a centrally located steering wheel that allows front-seat occupants to face rear-seat passengers during autonomous driving, but also provides a strong, highly bolstered center seat to provide necessary support during offroading adventures.
Campbell’s concept is a futuristic Ford CUV where swiveling seats and an interactive center console similar to a giant iPad encourages family interaction. The steering wheel folds up and collapses like a telescope to create more interior room during autonomous driving.
Hey-Min Kim’s project is an ultramodern Renault CUV based on a submarine and scuba design theme that includes neoprene, wetsuit-like upholstery.
Takahashi’s project is a 2030 Subaru XV interior designed around seats that provide extensive support for jaunts offroad but also fully recline for maximum comfort during autonomous driving. Side windows and moonroof turn into infotainment display screens.
Seung Joong Kim’s project features an elegant, minimalist design that emphasizes sustainable materials and is inspired by modular wooden furniture.
The students started their assignment with a tour of the North American International Auto show in January. There, they saw firsthand small CUVs and SUVs currently available in the U.S., guided by class instructor Brian Stoeckel, who is a designer at General Motors.
They then worked through March developing and refining their concepts.
The final projects were judged by a panel of top auto industry designers: Robert Walker, chief designer-Jeep Brand Interiors at Fiat Chrysler; Ariel Choi, lead designer at Calty Design Research; Teckla Rhoads, executive director-Global Industrial Design for General Motors; and Milijan Jevremovic, a senior designer at Toyota.
The student projects, currently on display at WardsAuto booth 1001, also will be on display at the WardsAuto Interiors Conference May13 at the new Cobo Center ballroom in Detroit. The grand prize winner will be announced during the conference, along with the recipients of special awards from IAC and Lear.
The Lear Innovation Award is given to the student whose work includes specific design or technical innovation the judges deem particularly inspired and forward-thinking.
The IAC EcoBlend Award will go to the student whose design or concept best embraces green mobility or uses lightweight renewable/recyclable materials and other Earth-friendly innovations.