Students challenged to create the 2020 Ampera in social media design competition
Paid internships on offer to winners
Rüsselsheim. ‘Design the 2020 Ampera’ is the challenge being thrown down to students across Europe in a new interactive competition created by Car Design News and Opel/Vauxhall. The students will develop their designs using social media – as both a tool to gain feedback from fellow entrants, and to receive guidance from expert design mentors at Opel/Vauxhall.
The competition tasks the students with envisioning what an exterior and interior for the company’s electrically-driven Ampera model will be like in the year 2020. In addition to the obvious aesthetics of design, which will aim to take the brand’s ‘Sculptural Artistry meets German Precision’ theme to the next level, they’re asked to consider the technologies, materials and communications which will make the vehicle even more efficient, dynamic and technology-driven.
“We’re really looking forward to seeing the designs and actively giving feedback to the ideas of the contestants,” says Mark Adams, who as Vice President of Design is responsible for all Opel/Vauxhall models. “It’s exciting to see what kinds of thoughts the designers of tomorrow have.”
The competition, which launches today, is open to students studying any discipline at a design school within Europe. They have the additional spur that the winners will gain paid placements at Opel/Vauxhall’s studios, a giant first step in their pursuit of careers as professional car designers.
The use of social media techniques is a unique feature of the competition. Unlike a conventional contest, where the finished submission alone is judged, the students will upload mood boards, initial sketches and then progressive working drafts to the competition website. These will all be visible to other entrants, to the mentors and to the wider design community, all of whom are encouraged to comment – and indeed suggest the designs that can be developed. The students can then further progress their designs in an interactive process right up to the competition close.
“How much the students contribute to the work of their fellow entrants, and the way they respond to feedback, will both be factors in the judges’ assessments of their work,” says Joe Simpson, an Associate Editor at Car Design News.
“The whole interactive process makes the competition very compelling,” adds Liz Wetzel, who is the Interior Design Director at Opel/Vauxhall in Rüsselsheim. “As a designer it can be a big help to have a fresh perspective from others to help see your own creations in a new light.”
The Car Design News – Opel/Vauxhall competition consists of two phases. The first will see all the entrants provide both an exterior and an interior proposal. These will be assessed in May 2012, when finalists will be selected.
The finalist group will do further development of their designs until August, when the competition closes and winners are judged. All the finalists will have their work on display at the Paris Auto Show in September 2012, where they will be invited to hear the announcement of the winners.
Both Opel/Vauxhall and the Car Design News team believe that digital tools and the online community will play an important part in future car design. Which is why any student studying at a design school in Europe – of any discipline, not just automotive design – will be able to enter, and why anyone in Europe will be able to make comments on their work.
2012 is the second year of this competition. The inaugural contest culminated in a prize-giving at the 2011 Geneva Auto Show which saw students from the Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) in Turin, Italy and the University of Coventry, UK emerge as winners and gain their paid internships with Opel/Vauxhall.
“The contact we have throughout the competition with the students is really beneficial,” concludes Friedhelm Engler, Director of Advanced Design for Opel/Vauxhall. “It’s always exciting to see the energy and passion they have for their ideas.”
for competition details and to register to enter.