Completing the final three is Vitaliy Pankov, a student who drew particular praise from the judges. Not only did Anne Asensio feel that he deserved a special mention for his enthusiasm in the online community and participation as a commentator, but Vitaliy was the only non-industrial/transportation design student to make the finals. Given this, it's even more impressive that he nearly made the cut with two entries (one in the GMC category). Ultimately, however, judges felt his Cadillac work was stronger. Olivier Boinais summed up: "I like his character, his reflection and enthusiasm – he could really grow into someone great."
Project76 impressed the judges with sketching and schematics, particularly the cut away, green render evoking a fun, elemental buggy design.
POVCar Designs impressed the judges from Dassault Systemes particularly, Dre Clemons remarked on how impressed he was with the "consideration given to what others [those not driving] are doing in the vehicle". Anne Asensio was impressed too; "you can clearly see he's put real thought into this". Finally, Johnny Yuxin Wang of CCS completed the Chevrolet trio with his 2025, Chevrolet Sportback EV Concept 1, a submission which contained – in the judges views – some of the best sketches seen in the entire competition.
It came as a surprise to some of the judges, but by a clear margin, the strongest entrants to the competition were for GMC. There was a rich vein of talent to choose from in this group, but three students stood out. Mike disappointed some of the judges by uploading his entry at the last minute – his entry gained zero comments – yet, despite the lack of interaction, his talent and clarity of ideas were clear to see in his UEV-00 concept.
TJE was another to impress, with Dave Lyon intrigued by the "interesting intersections of forms". "Visually interesting, the storage ideas are very good, and the design language is aggressive," added Dre Clemons. Completing the GMC finalists and the 13 students overall was Brook Banham. "Some of the best sketches we've seen so far," enthused Clay Dean – summing up the views of the entire judging panel, who felt that Brook's color sketches were some of the most alluring and visually arresting of the entire competition.
Each of these students will now be invited to attend NAIAS as a guest of GM, and four of them will win the grand prize of paid internships. However, their work isn't finished yet.
The judging team, and particularly GM, feel that each of these students has their own strengths and that, in some cases, there was clearly more to come. So in a competition twist, we'll be filtering the competition website down to show only the finalists' work and re-open the site, allowing the finalist to refine their work for the next few months – with the continued help of judges, mentors, and other commentators.
Beyond that, we'll be launching the exterior design phase of the competition on Monday August 8th. Watch Car Design News and www.cardesigncontest.com for more information and remember, even if you didn't compete in or register for the interior phase, you're eligible to enter an exterior design entry, as long as you're enrolled on a design course in North America (US or Canada).
Until then, all of us here at CDN, together with the judges and mentoring teams at GM and our competition partners at Dassault Systemes and Faurecia, would like to thank all who entered, and congratulate the 13 finalists on their success for getting this far. You'll be hearing from us again soon, and we look forward to meeting you in person at the NAIAS in January.
CDN-GM Interactive Design Contest homepage