LA Design Challenge 2009

LA Design Challenge 2009

Scheduled for next 3 December 2009, the 2009 edition of the Design Challenge, hosted at the Los Angeles Auto Show, is based on the theme "Youthmobile 2030" which explores the role of the automobile in the year 2030 for the future generation of young drivers.

LA Design ChallengeThe Design Challenge Competition sees the participation of six among the major California-based design studios which represent six automakers: Audi, GM, Honda, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota.

Each of them is presenting an original and futuristic proposal based on the theme "Youthmobile 2030".

The judges are Tom Matano (Director, Industrial Design, Academy of Art University); Imre Molner (Dean, College for Creative Studies); Stewart Reed (Chair, Transportation Design, Art Center College of Design); Jason Hill (Principal, Design By Eleven).

We will publish additional details on the single concepts in the next days.

The Brief

"The automobile has traditionally played an important role in young people’s social lives and has acted as a method of self expression. Today, communication technology is changing how we connect, interact and express ourselves.

Nissan V2G UNLMTD Honda Helix"How does this change the role of the automobile? How will a new generation of drivers aged 16-23, raised with cell phones, web cams and online communities emotionally connect to the automobile in 2030? Will This new generation also challenge the conventional ownership model by 2030?"


GM Car HeroAudi EOra ESpira Concepts

The Design Los Angeles Conference

The Design Challenge is part of the Design Los Angeles automobile designers’ conference that has evolved into an integral element of the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Mazda SougaToyota LinkEntering its fifth year, Design Los Angeles provides designers with leading design speakers and the opportunity to address common issues. More than 500 designers attended last year’s event.

New this year, the conference will feature the Design Los Angeles Panel, which will have panelists such as Ian Callum, director of design at Jaguar Cars and Franz von Holzhausen, senior design executive of Tesla Motors discussing the future of auto design.

The Los Angeles region, long hailed as a leader of creativity and consumer trends, is home to the world’s largest concentration of manufacturer design studios, representing automakers from North America, Europe and Asia.

It is also the home of Art Center College of Design, one of the world’s foremost transportation design institutions where many of today’s leading automotive designers began their careers.

Design Los Angeles is unique in that automobile designers are playing an integral role in its ongoing development. Six prominent designers are on the advisory board to identify issues that are of interest to designers.

For more information visit Los Angeles Auto Show’s official website.

CONFERENCE DIRECTORS – The Design Academy, Inc.

Chuck Pelly

A 40-plus year veteran of the design industry, Pelly most recently started The Design Academy, Inc., a design and creative group that consults on projects for BMW Group, Nokia and Magna International, among others.

Through lectures, articles and appearances, Pelly continues to contribute to the design profession.

He has received more than 50 awards, including the Eyes on Design Lifetime Achievement Award, and has been involved with Art Center College of Design since 1968 as student, teacher, mentor and lecturer. Pelly has received the Art Center’s George Jergenson Design Achievement Award for his significant contributions.

Joan Gregor

As co-founder of The Design Academy, Inc., Joan Gregor works to bridge the gap between the design worlds of industry, academia and research. Gregor’s experience in design, corporate, entrepreneurial and nonprofit environments has provided her with a perspective on developing strategic design initiatives. She has also developed a variety of new product concepts, taking them from design all the way to the retail market.


Chris Chapman – Director of Automotive Design, BMW Group DesignworksUSA

Chapman counts among his many concept and production design projects the X5, X-coupe concept and the CS1. Before joining BMW, Chapman spent four years with Isuzu Technical Center of America, where he designed the exterior of the gull-winged XU-1 concept vehicle. He graduated from Art Center College of Design.

Kevin Hunter – Vice President, CALTY Design Research

Kevin Hunter oversees Calty Design Research, which is a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation and part of a global design network for Toyota, Scion and Lexus vehicles. Hunter’s handiwork can be found in the exterior designs of Toyota’s Tacoma, Avalon and RAV-4. He was also the chief designer of the Matrix, as well as the 2001 RSC Show Car Concept. Hunter graduated from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit.

Derek Jenkins – Chief Designer, Volkswagen/Audi Design Center California

Derek Jenkins became Volkswagen’s North American design chief in 2000. He spent the earlier part of his career in Germany, immersed in the disciplined design environment at Audi. Jenkins’ work includes the Audi A2 and the current-generation A8 production cars. He also designed and directed the development of the Volkswagen Microbus, Concept T show car and the GX-3 that had its world debut at the last January’s LA Auto Show. Jenkins graduated from Art Center College of Design.

David Marek – Chief Designer and Senior Manager, Honda Research & Development

Dave Marek heads the Automotive Styling Group at Honda Research & Development and has been with Honda since 1987. He has served as project leader for such programs as the 1994 Accord Wagon and the 1997 Acura CL. A graduate with honors from the Art Center College of Design, Marek has been an instructor at the college since 1989 and has been instrumental in bringing numerous sponsored projects to the Transportation Department.

Joel Piaskowski – Hyundai Chief Designer, Hyundai Kia America Design Center

Joel Piaskowski is the chief designer responsible for the Hyundai design team. Piaskowski received an early education in the world of automotive design, drawing cars with his father, a designer at DaimlerChrysler. Piaskowski graduated from the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit and worked at the General Motors Design Center for more than 12 years before joining Hyundai. The Hyundai HCD-8 Sports Concept is one example of the numerous design projects that have received his design direction.

Frank Saucedo – Design Director, General Motors West Coast Advanced Design Studio

Frank Saucedo, design director of GM’s studio, has a long list of design credits that include international experience at General Motors’ Russelsheim studio, where he worked on Opel products, including the Corsa, Tigra, Astra and Omega. Saucedo was formerly the chief designer at Volkswagen’s California design studio, as well as chief designer at General Motor’s Advanced Concepts Center in Newbury Park, Calif. While at ACC, Saucedo contributed concepts for the current Corvette and the CK-series pickup. Saucedo graduated from Art Center College of Design.

Southern California-based Automobile Design Studios

Studio Opened Location
Advanced Design Studio – Honda R&D 2006 Pasadena
BMW Group DesignworksUSA 1991 Newbury Park
Calty Design Research 1972 Newport Beach
Ford California Advanced Product Creation 1984 Irvine
General Motors Advanced Design Studio, California 2000 North Hollywood
Honda Research & Development 1985 Torrance
Hyundai Design Center America 2003 Irvine
Isuzu Motors America Design Studio 1984 Cerritos
Kia Design Center America 2008 Irvine
Mazda Research & Development of North America 1988 Irvine
Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design of North America 1990 Carlsbad
Nissan Design America 1979 La Jolla
Volkswagen/Audi Design Center California 1991 Santa Monica
Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center 1986 Camarillo

(Source: LA Auto Show)

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