The winners of the 2007 World Automotive Design Competition (WADC), sponsored by Autodesk, were announced at the 2007 Canadian International Auto Show in February. The competition was relaunched in 2007 with a few new twists created to meet the needs of the global automotive industry. The fifth WADC strived to provide manufacturers worldwide with a source of new automotive design talent and to encourage design students, and especially women, to choose a career in automotive design.
This year's challenge was to design a car for an aging population that equally appeals to the young. Additionally, the entries were to take into account the society in which the target market lives and should reflect the environmental realities of the twenty-first century while preserving the freedom a personal vehicle represents. Eighteen schools representing 61 students and 49 entries competed in this year's competition.
Along with peer and industry recognition, the winning student designer was awarded $10,000, second place $7,500, and third place $5,000. The three top designers also received a seat of Autodesk SketchBook Pro software. The design school associated with each winner will receive a seat of Autodesk AutoStudio, ImageStudio, and PortfolioWall software and a collection of design learning tools books and DVDs. "This competition aligns with Autodesk's commitment to young designers, as we raise the profile of automotive design as a desirable and accessible career choice and offer tools that make it possible to experience designs before they are real" said Richard Jones, vice president of Alias design products at Autodesk.
The first place overall winner was Paul Kim from the Academy of Art University of San Francisco for his entry the Ford Legion. "Paul's design is an excellent balance of great aesthetics and clever functionality," said judge Moray Callum, Design Director, Ford North America. "The exterior design is bold and distinctive through the use of modern surface language and strong graphics. The exterior and interior is full of innovative ideas and functionality. Paul has done a great job of thinking of how the vehicle will actually be used and has introduced a lot of creative solutions for the customer."
The second place overall winner was Ryan Campbell from the Academy of Art University of San Francisco for his entry the VW Connection. "Ryan's VW Connection is a cleverly designed two seat roadster, with well designed details that make this concept fresh and attractive." said judge Dan Sims, General Manager, MRDA Design Studio, Mitsubishi Motors North America. "Ryan describes the car as a hobby car designed to pull the generations of enthusiasts together. The Connection features two keys so parents can limit the power output for the younger driver, and it also features green technology. It is the car I would have wanted in high school and now,"
The third place overall winner was Matthew Finbow from Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning of Toronto for his entry the Concourse. "Finbow's Concourse is exceptionally flexible. Concourse is defined as a meeting of friends, a place where people feel welcome, and this design would appeal, in his words, "to the young and the 'young at heart'". The Concourse has a futuristic look and its six seats and interior can be configured many different ways and safety has not been neglected. This imaginative but feasible presentation by Matthew is certainly one of interest," states judge Ken Gross, Edmunds.com, judge Pebble Beach Councours d'Elegance.
One additional design was selected as the Autodesk Design Visualization award winner. In this category, students are judged on the visual rendition of their entries, examining the student's use of lighting, shadows and overall digital imagery. The Autodesk Design Visualization award winner will receive one seat each of Autodesk AutoStudio, ImageStudio and PortfolioWall software.
Paul Kim of the Academy of Art University of San Francisco received the Autodesk Design Visualization award for his entry the Ford Legion. Judge Akira Fujimoto, Editor-in-Chief of Car Styling magazine, said, "Paul understands what is important to present in a design. His sketches are highly skilled and the image lettering is very expressive. All his ideas are put together neatly with great use of various Autodesk techniques and effects."
The Best Design School award is given to a school that has submitted a minimum of three entries. That body of entries needs to have most consistently reflected the design challenge. As well, the winning design school visually identifies and reflects the culture of the country where its students currently study. The Academy of Art University of San Francisco, California, is this year's Best Design School. The Academy of Art University receives a copy of Autodesk AutoStudio, ImageStudio, and PortfolioWall as well as a commemorative original soapstone sculpture from the CIAS.
"Our choice for the Best Design School award is based on the fact that all of the school's entries were well thought out, professionally presented, and both rational and imaginative. The role of design schools is, above all, to prepare students for professional life, and this year the judges agreed that the Academy of Art University of San Francisco is this year's winner," said judge Robert Cumberford, Design Critic, Automobile and Auto&Design magazines.
With a combined total of over 140 years of design experience, this year's judging panel has been responsible for some of the most prolific contributions to automotive design. The panel consisted of: Moray Callum, Design Director, Ford North America; Robert Cumberford, Design critic: Automobile and Auto&Design magazines; Akira Fujimoto, Editor-in-chief, Car Styling magazine; Ken Gross, Edmunds.com, judge Pebble Beach Councours d'Elegance; and Dan Sims, General Manager, MRDA Design Studio, Mitsubishi Motors North America. Mike Simcoe, Executive Director - Design, General Motors North America, assisted with the judging on-site within the Design Studio exhibit at the CIAS.
World Automotive Design Competition 2005