Titled “Design for Alpha”, the SABIC-sponsored project challenged Transportation Design students to come up with bold, forward-thinking ideas on the types of vehicles that best meet the needs of this new generation (anyone born after 2010), envisioning the direction of the automotive design industry by 2030 and beyond.
One of the project goals was to explore the possibilities offered by new material. and in particular by SABIC’s broad range of thermoplastic materials and solutions for the automotive industry.
The project resulted in a diverse selection of approaches. No two concepts were alike with the students interpreting the needs and desires of Generation Alpha in different ways.
Though autonomous driving was a common theme, the concepts differed considerably – from vehicles designed for high-speed commuting and off-road adventuring to those designed for urban mobility and public transport.
The jury, which included 14 professionals from seven major OEM design studios (Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Nissan, Subaru, Tesla Motors and Volkswagen), chose John McCarthy as the overall winner.
Eric Sun and Axel Kurkjian finished second and third, respectively. All three students presented highly imaginative concepts and demonstrated innovative uses of plastics. SABIC awarded McCarthy, Sun and Kurkjian with scholarships valued at $5,000, $3,000 and $1,000.
SABIC also presented two $500 Art Center scholarships. Iljung Jeong received the Design Leadership award for his strong work ethic, proactive nature and eagerness to apply what he had learned.
Jaesung Kim was recognized with the Vehicle Emblem award for creating the winning Design for Alpha logo, which was a competition among all students.
The Winning Projects
XV 1 Exposed Versatility Concept by Jaesung Kim
XV 1 Exposed Versatility concept is an outgoing, expressive adventure vehicle for the “unplugged” generation.
Uses of plastics include:
• A combination of high tensile strength and energy absorbing polymers allows the lower frame of the vehicle to become an active suspension rather than an accumulation of hundreds of metal parts.
• The vehicle’s strong and highly ductile wheels are of an open structure, which not only provides impact absorption and comfort, but also high traction when driving off-road.
• Polycarbonate glazing is used to form the passenger capsule and an opaque glazing structure forms the protective outer body shell.
Interchangeable Concept by Iljung Jeong
Iljung Jeong’s Interchangeable concept allows space efficiency in an externally framed autonomous vehicle with a three-seat layout and a very small footprint.
Plastics allow the external Y shaped frame to become a signature design element and a virtual windshield.
Next-generation, lightweight plastics create the in-wheel motor mounting and many interchangeable parts for easy repair and customization.
Though not chosen as a grand award winner, Jeong received an award for design leadership and a $500 Art Center scholarship from SABIC.
As Art Center reports, “he earned this recognition because of his strong work ethic, proactive nature and eagerness to apply what he learned throughout the project.”