Art Center College of Design Fall Graduation Show 2003
23 Apr 2004
Renault Luxury Flagship by Darin Holte. Click for larger images
Three Smart Car by Darin Holte
Next Generation Peugeot Utility Interior by Darin Holte
Chrysler Century V10 by Senon B. Franco III
VW Oodul by Senon B. Franco III
Yo by Senon B. Franco III
Tri-X by Senon B. Franco III
Theorem by Senon B. Franco III
Chrysler Nautilus V-10 by Chris Coutts
Isuzu Ambi-directional Mag-Lev Truck 2035 by Chris Coutts
Hyundai Matiz by Chris Coutts
Jeep Celedon by Chris Coutts
Abierto by Kent Pilcher
Acura MD-X 2015 by Kent Pilcher

Apr 23, 2004 - Students at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena presented their work in the Fall graduation show in December. The show featured work from eight graduating students in the Bachelor of Science - Transportation Design program.

The transportation senior project is organized as an independent project, each student researches a company, and targeted buyer, to see if a new vehicle is needed or if a vehicle on the market needs to be improved. The students then work with the course instructors who are professional designers to refine their concepts and create exciting new design solutions for their chosen company.

Darin Holte

Senior Project: Renault 2012 Luxury Flagship

The graceful lines and inspirational forms of sailboats stimulated the vision for a Renault flagship, intended to compete with the S class while paying homage to the grand pre-war luxury Renaults. The concept explores contrast of pure and bold geometry taken from modern architecture.

Three Smart Car

The concept focuses on providing an exciting driving experience through the use of Drive-by-Wire technology. Doing away with the traditional steering column and dash allowed more space and freedom to maximize the package layout, increasing the passenger layout to a 1+2-seater. As the driver steers, the seat pivots to the left and right, and performance is enhanced with the ballast of the driver's weight being pushed towards the corner.

Next Generation Peugeot Utility Interior

A versatile workstation/armrest/storage bin is contained within the center dash, with inspiration from aluminum motorcycle type frames, which provides structure and durability. The versatility is from a choice of three surfaces, which pivot out from the instrument panel. A writing surface is provided from the external frame surface with a rigid clipboard.

Art Center Mobility Project

The project was concerned with creating a transit system to shuttle students between the Art Center Hillside Campus in Pasadena and the South Campus in South Pasadena. Darin's solution for the project took shape through the use of an anchored hydrogen balloon support structure elevating a gondola-type cable system, with lightweight hydrogen-powered shuttles.

Senon B. Franco III

Sr. Project - DaimlerChrysler 'The American Dream Machine' - Chrysler Sports Car V10

The Century V10 is Chrysler's flagship sports car, based on an existing platform, and embodies a pure honesty and simplicity. The inspiration is drawn from luxury yachts, a yacht's plan view shape is the main theme. The car was styled to have strong character and be memorable, combining sheared surfacing edges and sexy lines. Senon was presented with the Chrysler Award, judged by DaimlerChrysler designers, for emcompassing 'The best showcase of a future design language of Chrysler'.


The VW maximizes the given proportion by utilizing a mono-volume shape. The VW Oodul is a 2+2 plastic vehicle targeted at urban youth. The concept is Base-Buffer-Component. The base-vehicle and Buffer-Connecter are pre assembled, and distributed through regional facilities where components are assembled to suit the end-user. Modular systematic infrastructure has personalizing capabilities. Body components are made primarily of plastic parts and recycled materials, and inspiration was drawn from innovative plastic products. The project was completed during a DCC Volkswagen Internship.

The Yo!

The Acura RDX is an entry level SUV Beach Cruiser for the year 2010. This vehicle is based on the Honda CRV Platform and Honda DNA Hybrid technology with four wheel drive off-road performance. The Yo is between a dune buggy and Jeep Wrangler. The canopy top variations are based on the end users preference. The inspiration was drawn from the Knoll A3 Furniture System office cubicle. The skin and structure is the main focus of the vehicle. The roll bar structure is integrated into the main body. The canopy top of the vehicle has multiple configurations which emphasize the inherent fun of experiencing the open air.


The Tri-X is a Mitsubishi Offroad Pickup Truck with a V8 engine. The overall theme is a triangular shape incorporating it into a green house. Focusing on the passenger's safety and space was key. The performance of the vehicle is based on a 280 hp V8, and is targeted at active youth. The truck was styled to have a raw and rugged character, not the typical proportion, more cab-forward. The focal point is the truck's cockpit area.


Senon designed the Theorem during a GM Advanced Design internship. The Saturn Sports Coupe is a four-seater vehicle with multipurpose capabilities. Designed to serve Saturn customer's active lifestyle. The concept is a sports coupe with expandable space - folding the back seats down can create a flat bed in the back.

Chris Coutts

Sr. Project: Chrysler Nautilus V-10

'Beauty is the first kiss'...This is the concept behind the Nautilus V-10. It's 'a car so beautiful you cannot forget about it'. A car that embodies the emotional qualities of a first kiss, a true American Dream Machine. Inspired by modern sculptural forms and architecture, and designed around a potent Chrysler chassis and 500 hp engine, the Nautilus combines performance with Chrysler elegance and seductive styling.

Isuzu Ambi-directional Mag-Lev Truck 2035

Urban sprawl creates two environments that delivery trucks must operate in, one is crowded city centers, and the other is a sprawling suburb separated by long distances. This project focuses on solving the problems associated with urban sprawl in the year 2035 by utilizing promising technologies in an innovative truck package. Using drive-by-wire and pneumatic suspension technologies, this truck concept allows the operator to always go in a forward direction. By never having to go in reverse, this allows the truck to navigate through crowded cities safely and easily. The truck uses Mag-Lev track systems to travel very long distances quickly and efficiently.

Hyundai Matiz

Matiz is a flagship vehicle that will launch Hyundai into the luxury market. Its stylish and sophisticated design, combined with Hyundai's acclaimed reputation of building affordable cars, establishes the Matiz as an excellent value. Front engine V6 with rear wheel drive commands performance and threatens the competition. The Matiz appeals to buyers who seek and appreciate value and quality.

Jeep Celedon

Personality, Individuality, Efficiency, Environment, and Utilitarian Style, are words that define a population of young urban people, 18 to 30 years old, that the Jeep brand currently does not appeal to. These individuals prefer to drive VW Golf and Beetle, Subaru, Honda Civic, and the Mini Cooper. Why is this? Because Jeep lacks a true entry level vehicle that has personality and is fuel efficient. The goal of this project was to create an entry level vehicle for the Jeep brand that is small, fuel efficient, and cool enough to appeal to a young urban market. A small efficient vehicle could open new markets worldwide to the Jeep brand.

Kent Pilcher

Sr. Project - Catalyst 2008 Domestic Sedan Interior Concept

The idea behind the Catalyst project was to reinvigorate the domestic sedan segment, making it more appealing to Gen X and Gen Y college graduates. Asymmetry is used to define interior spaces without creating a sense of exclusion. Digital paper ?wraps' the IP creating a dynamic customizable display system.


Abierto is a scaleable feeder bus that travels in zones and can be hailed using a cell phone. The doors are the primary focus of the design, offering easy access and a panoramic view. The footprint is quite small so it can navigate narrow streets with ease. Its chassis can be constructed from extruded material and built to the scale of a specific zone. Finally, the affordable seats are constructed of bent tubing and stretched material. The back of each seat slides along the tubular structure allowing passengers to sit as a group or to face in a different direction. In short, Abierto is a flexible transit solution that can be adapted to a variety of environments. Abierto played one part in a group 'Mobility' project. The goal of the project was to create a customer-friendly transit solution that offers seven levels of service ranging from very convenient to very affordable. Consumers could subscribe to the program much like they do with cellular or internet service.

Acura MD-X 2015 Sponsored Project

The key word for this project is 'Transform!' The front seats transform to present the driver with a 'center of the world' feeling and safety, while the back seats transform to offer 'more than expected' convenience and ease of use.