Organized by the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), the 6th edition of the VDA Design Award asked participating students to submit their final-year transportation projects – completed between October 2011 and July 2013.
The contest was simply titled “The Future of Transportation Design” and had no specific brief, giving just one condition: the works had to stem from the area of passenger transport or commercial vehicles.
Among the 101 projects submitted, the jury of automotive experts selected three winners and a special metion award, taking into consideration conceptual and visionary quality, degree of innovation, design and presentation quality, and the technical realization of the project.
The first three winners and the special mention award respectively received a prize of 4,000, 3,000, 2,000 and 1,000 Euros.
We are also happy and – why not – proud to report that two among the winning projects have been exclusively published for the first time here on Car Body Design: they are the Audi Elite Concept by Eric Leong from Umea and the Mukana Concept by Kirk Dyer from Monash University.
- 1st Prize (4.000 Euro): Eric Leong – Audi Elite (Master thesis) – Umea Institute of Design, Sweden
- 2nd Prize (3.000 Euro): Gaurang Rajan Nagre – Future Car for General Motors 2013 (Diploma thesis) National Institute of Design, India
- 3rd Prize (2.000 Euro): Kirk Dyer – Mukana (Bachelor thesis) Monash University, Australia
- Special mention (1.000 Euro): Markus Kurkowski – Beyond – Wohnwagenkonzept (Diploma thesis) Hochschule Darmstadt, Germany
A total of nine works were chosen for being displayed in the exhibition at IAA 2013 and published in the competition magazine together with the awarded projects.
Below we report the official details on the winning entries along with the jury’s remarks.
1st prize: Audi Elite Concept by Eric Leong
The winning project was the Master thesis by Eric Leong at the Umeå Institute of Design, Umeå University, Sweden – check our exclusive article here.
Conceived as a single-person vehicle, with its innovative control system this design represents a new approach to cars. A complex mechanical system enables the driver to control the vehicle by moving his hands, arms, feet, leg, indeed his entire body.
By means of an advanced learning program the vehicle adapts to the skills of the driver, who consequently gradually gains greater control over the vehicle and its speed. The exterior stands out for its clear, technical shapes that are the height of current industrial design.
The jury’s remarks: “An extraordinary concept that integrates the driver more strongly again in operating the vehicle. The way in which the driver can use the car emphasizes the “gamification” approach and plays a major role in the innovative impression made. As such the concept also tells an exciting story. At the same time the design is not just a model, as the well developed technical aspects reveal.”
2nd prize: Future Cars for General Motors – 2030 by Gaurang Rajan Nagre
This Concept was Gaurang Rajan Nagre‘s degree thesis at the National Institute of Design, Mumbai, India.
Research on three major Indian cities, their transport structure their inhabitants’ movements resulted in the design of an economical vehicle with a small footprint. It solves the problem of space in urban traffic by using height to fit in several people.
The vehicle’s architecture is modular, enabling it to be adapted for a single person or several passengers. A second level provides up to four seats. The tiny footprint means the vehicle is easy to park, takes up little space, is easy to get in and out of, and has storage space. The fact that the upper seats face each other makes for communication.
The jury’s verdict: “The research and assignment focus on a highly relevant and politically interesting theme in automotive design and construction. In the future the traffic-related challenges facing mega-cities are going to call for new vehicle concepts. This design provides initial solutions, presented in a concept, the likes of which have never been seen before.”
3rd prize: Mukana – An Open Source Vehicle for Africa by Kirk Dyer
Using regional materials and the population’s know-how enables the vehicle to be adapted fully to its surroundings and intended use. Vehicles for safaris, freight transport etc are conceivable. In terms design the vehicle is based on a rhinoceros, a typical animal in Zimbabwe.
The jury’s verdict: “A strong concept for a truck and its field of use – boasting a design that makes sense and really can be experienced.”
Special Mention: Beyond – caravan concept by Markus Kurkowski
This Concept was the Degree thesis by Markus Kurkowski, from the Department of Design of the University of Darmstadt, Germany.
The aerodynamic exterior is reminiscent of a tent and gives a first indication of just how flexible the caravan is.
The state-of-the-art interior can be adapted to suit individual requirements. It particularly takes into account the fact that users may well be elderly and restricted in mobility.
The jury’s comment: “An extremely interesting concept that gives the caravan cliché a positive spin and raises the image of campers. Alongside the precise, effective interior design the link between inside and outside is particularly eye-catching.
“Together, the pavilion-like “architecture”, the attractive lines, the light, airy bungalow atmosphere and the matter-of-course barrier freedom bear witness to an extremely coherent concept.”
The German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) represents the interests of Germany’s entire automotive industry. The VDA has over 600 member companies, comprising car and commercial vehicle manufacturers as well as suppliers and manufacturers of trailers and bodies.
The VDA is also the organizer of the Frankfurt IAA (International Motor Show).
(Source: German Council)