May 23, 2005 - Students at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena presented their work in the Spring graduation show held in April. The show featured work from twelve 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. The projects displayed included:
The idea behind this senior thesis was to make a personal van exterior with attitude and character, reacting against vans that appear to be unemotional and attempt to blend in.
20 or 30 years ago, American personal vans represented road trips and escape. Today they stand for the exact opposite - kids, errands, responsibility, suburban life. The idea behind the project was to give someone who needs three rows of seats something fun to drive, an experience, and a masculine statement. Inspiration for the Mega-Van came from freight trains, long haul commercial trucks, large jet airliners, and off-road vehicles. Note the exhausts located above the B-pillar behind the passenger and driver, the split windscreen with brow, 747 inspired nose-cap, train-like hood proportion, muscular wheel arches, and round rear-end theme - like an off-road spare tire. To create interest in the rear section, the taillights appear pushed forward, leaving a sculptural rigid surface.
GM sponsored project: Car for China - 'One Chevrolet for every need' - targeting the Chinese female youth.
Most consumers in China will buy one vehicle, it needs to satisfy multiple needs. An American car for china should look American - emotional, flamboyant, powerful. The proposed vehicle is a tall car crossover on the GM Kappa platform, combining rigid horizontal themes with a fluid organic upper greenhouse. This vehicle offers a high driving position and lots of visibility typically preferred by female customers. It also incorporates large jewel-like front and stylish rear fascias - details that are important in the Chinese market. The vehicle has a unique forward sloping windshield and A-pillar to provide the tall car with attitude and a dynamic forward direction. The large C-pillar and upright glass is designed to satisfy the Chinese hunger for prestige and elegance.
A revival of the Dino brand seems natural and has been awaited by millions of Ferrari enthusiasts around the world. Dino, being a more affordable Ferrari, attracts a much younger and a more liberal buyer, so it creates an opportunity for a bolder and a more progressive aesthetic statement. Just like the original, this Dino Competizione bears no Ferrari badging, avoiding any damage to the exclusive Ferrari brand image.
The concept features deliberately complex and even decorative elements. Inspired by Zaha Hadid's buildings and her design philosophy, organic flowing surfaces are blended with overtly complex, yet rhythmic, graphics and details. One of the challenges was to create a clear system of 'reads' from various aspects. An observer is meant to notice more as he approaches the vehicle. The first read would be the yellow organic surface and the traditional top-heavy Dino Competizione proportion; the second read becomes obvious once the observer comes a little bit closer and starts noticing the complex shapes of the air intake and the add-on aerodynamic pieces; and finally, the third and fourth reads become clear as the observer notices the details such as the tail lights and head lights, interior detail, door handle etc. Each one of these read levels provides an equal amount of visual excitement, therefore making the process of appreciating the design much longer and much more intriguing. At the same time none of the reads fight with each other, they coexist in harmony. Creating an extremely complex yet balanced design was the intention with this project.
'Merging two passions', Romeo represents avant-garde, masculine, machined surfaces, while Juliet represents the sensual, classical hand crafted surface. The concept brings the two opposite design themes together to create a vehicle that is greater because of the contrast. The translucent patterned roof panel creates a mood and a subtle pattern in the interior.
'Delivering the impossible'. This was a group project with Sasha Selipanov's helicopter to deliver products all around the world. For developing countries construction supplies or an emergency delivery. Hippo represents a good-hearted, friendly character that is also very strong and durable.
Inspired by the Apple Powerbook laptop that has a standy by indicator light that simulates a human heartbeat. The parting line of the Kinetic vehicle indicates that there is life underneath the exterior giving a product a human trait.
Chevrolet (Senior Thesis, 2005, Spring, 8th term) Proposing a Camaro for 2010. The challenge of the project is to come up with an all new Camaro with an advanced new execution and its own distinct character, not necessary making a retro car.
Re-interpretation on Ford Model T (Funded Project, 2003 Fall, 6th term). The aim of the project was to develop a vehicle which has a responsibility to the urban social environment. The proposal uses elements of the character, values, and functions that made the Model T an enduring part of the local culture. The cargo unit can be flipped down to become a pickup truck version.
Caterpillar (Sponsored Project, 2004 Summer, 7th term) Proposing a future semi truck using an advanced Caterpillar diesel engine. To expose the engine as much as possible, the concept uses an exoskeleton type of body structure. The engine powers an electric generator and six motors located on each wheel.