CCS students design the Buick of 2030

CCS students design the Buick of 2030

Buick partnered with BASF to sponsor a competition for students at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies, who were asked to shape their vision of what Buicks will look like in 2030.


More than a dozen transportation designers students from CCS participated in the contest, competing and consulting with industry professionals, and exploring their own outside-the-box ideas and new concepts in personal transportation.

The competition guidelines addressed future transportation needs – the dramatic rise in urban populations, developing countries, nanotechnology and the role advanced materials will play in vehicle efficiency.

Buick-BASF Design Project

A professional jury of Buick designers from the exterior, interior, and color and trim studios, along with BASF coatings and performance materials experts, selected four concepts for special recognition and $7,000 in awards:

Buick-BASF Design Project by Namsuk Lee

Namsuk Lee, 28, from Seoul, Korea with two awards – $3,000 for best overall concept and $1,500 for best interior

Buick-BASF Design Project by Sam Kenny

Sam Kenny, 22 of Greensboro, N.C. – $1,500 for best exterior design

– Justin Salmon, 19 of Boca Raton, Fla. – $1,000 for most innovative use of materials.

The panel commended Lee for his lightweight exterior form language, exceptional interpretation and integration of the Buick design cues and inviting interior execution.

Kenny’s concept impressed the Buick designers, who praised its “dynamic elegance” and clever use of structural design elements to create innovative and efficient proportions and body surfacing.

Salmon won over the BASF jurors with his integration of materials and technology, including exposed use of algae in the vehicle structure to generate energy.

Buick-BASF Design Project by Soohan Cho

Other notable designs included the proportions and form language of the urban coupe by JinYoung Yoon and the dynamic concept from Soohan Cho. The latter was cited for its expressive use of materials and colors to appeal to a young generation of Buick customers.

Buick-BASF Design Project by JinYoung Yoon

About the Buick-BASF contest

The Buick-BASF program is unique in that it allows young designers the same access to future trend research and data used by industry professionals. Students showcase their overall design talent through sketching and modeling, along with critical thinking and presentation skills.

Mentors from both companies provided information and access to advanced materials, along with a visit to develop exterior paint at BASF’s automotive refinish facility in Whitehouse, Ohio.

Official Statements

“The solutions these concepts offer are as unique as the future car designers at CCS who created them,” said Andrew Smith, executive director of Buick global design. “For Buick, this project is an invitation for new insights and interpretation of our brand and the future portfolio of products we will offer.”

“Professional car design is a very competitive business and your work is always measured against your peers and by the market success it generates,” he added.

“Buick design that conveys youthful energy and fresh thinking is essential to the future of this modern, international luxury brand.”

(Source: Buick)

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  1. zMick
    6/6/2014

    Buick reinvents itself every 15 years or so.. all the other car makers all doing the same.. coming up with a fresh design is he real challenge, what these design students didn’t get.. cars will have dual purpose.. driverless and manual driveable.

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