Mazda Design Challenge: the winner

Mazda Design Challenge: the winner

Mazda has announced the winner of its Design Challenge. The first prize went to Mallory McMorrow, an industrial design student, who will see her concept come to life during the LA Auto Show.

The 2018 Mazda3 Design Challenge was started by Mazda as an online contest only to residents of the United States, and hosted by

To enter, contestants submitted a 150-word description of their vision of the 2018 MAZDA3 and an optional sketch drawing. The Mazda Design team then judged each entry, choosing 10 semi-finalists.

Mazda Concept Mallory McMorrow and Jacques Flynn Sketch by Mallory McMorrow partnered with Jacques Flynn

From 25 to 30 October the five finalists, selected by online voting, have worked with the Mazda Design Team to bring their vision to life. The final concept sketches were then posted for the final votes until 6 November.

The grand winner of the Challenge is Mallory McMorrow from South Bend, IN, an industrial design student from the University of Notre Dame.

Her vision will come to life over the course of the LA Auto Show 2007 (16-25 November 2007). She will work together with Franz von Holzhausen, director of design, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO), and his team, to bring the concept to life, evolving from a lump of clay into a full-scale model at the end of the week.

Five finalists were chosen by the Facebook community. Each of the five finalists were paired with a Mazda designer to hone their concept, which was then judged and voted on in a second round by fellow Facebook members.

Work on the model will begin on the first media day, November 14, and the final concept will be unveiled on Saturday, November 24, at 3:00 pm.

Mallory’s prize includes full travel and accomodationfor the event, $1000 cash and a Mazda3 for her week in LA.

“The Mazda Design Challenge brought in a flood of cool, unique design ideas. The winning design concept is a fresh new way to look at the design of a vehicle,” said von Holzhausen.

“This competition was a tremendous success, and this entire process was really beneficial to my team and me to understand what design means to our target buyers. Now the hard part comes – to see if we can actually build a full concept car on the show stand in 10 days and in full view of show goers.”

The full gallery complete with project descriptions is available on

The winner: Mallory McMorrow

Mazda Concept Mallory McMorrow and Jacques Flynn Concept by Mallory McMorrow partnered with Jacques Flynn

“Mallory’s vision and enthusiasm provided a great starting point to push the envelope and approach the project in a unique and refreshing way.

“The idea was to create a car belonging in no current category – neither sedan nor hatchback, but something different. We wanted a functional car (without it devolving into a box) as well as a car that screamed excitement and speed (without becoming a traditional coupe).

“This vision for the 2018 MAZDA3 therefore pushes the boundaries of what youthful transportation for the future can become, with its extremely sculptural, yet functional rear ¾, along with unique window graphics / transparent roof offering pleasant interior lighting solutions.”

The other finalists

Andrew Kinomoto

“Andrew shared his bold vision of the Mazda brand with his KATANA “incision” (Japanese single-edged sword) inspired concept.

Sketches by Andrew Kinomoto and Siyoung Song Sketches by Andrew Kinomoto and Siyoung Song
Sketches by Andrew Kinomoto partnered with Siyoung Song

“The KATANA design theme was incorporated not only into the overall design language, but also the graphics and details such as the windows, lamps, character lines, door cuts, etc.

“His design theme was also used as functional elements, around door cuts and with the KATANA incision becoming air intakes or outlets.

“Lastly, Andrew’s KATANA theme was also blended into Mazda’s 5-point identity in the rear end of the vehicle, creating a unique vision for the 2018 MAZDA3.”

Preston Gilliam

“Preston articulated a vision based on the phenomenon of rushing water speeding through narrow passes creating ripples of energy its wake.

Mazda Sketches by Preston Gilliam and Carlos Salaff Mazda Sketches by Preston Gilliam and Carlos Salaff
Sketches by Preston Gilliam partnered with Carlos Salaff

“A hydrogen rotary power plant supplies cruising power to the front wheels and blasts torque to electric motors in the rear wheel hubs.

“The powerful rear wheels are separated from the tapering cabin to reduce aerodynamic drag. A compact cabin and super short are made possible through safety panels that extend from the body in the event of an impact. Programmable LED lights blaze when turned on and are completely invisible when off.”

Danny Song

“Danny’s initial submission of sketch and description were an excellent starting point.”

Mazda Sketches by Preston Gilliam and Carlos Salaff Mazda Sketches by Preston Gilliam and Carlos Salaff
Sketches by Danny Song partnered with Paul Muzio

“The intent was to combine the key lines and features of the sketch (flowing belt line, wraparound glass, pronounced ‘chin’) with the description to show a car with a strong stance and a lean athletic coupe like profile.”

Christopher Chung

“We worked hard to execute the essence of MAZDA3 in proportion, surface language, and in detail.

Mazda Sketches by Christopher Chung and Minyong Lee Mazda Sketches by Christopher Chung and Minyong Lee
Sketches by Christopher Chung partnered with Minyong Lee

” A car should flaunt its strength and poise, not cower behind conformity.

“That’s why the 5-point grille, glass roof, bold lines, and freestyle doors scream Mazda. Everything’s about the driver. It’s ‘Nagare,’ but there’s force behind this flow.

“The timeless silhouette and flexing sheet metal elicit a primal response unlike anything in its class. Make it fun. Give it class. Raise the bar.”

(Sources: Mazda,

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