Now in its second year, the CDN People Awards will feature a student sketch-off during the evening, with the winner revealed during the main awards show

Car Design News is pleased to announce that a sketch battle will be taking place on the evening of the 2023 People Awards in London. Students from multiple universities will be on site ahead of the evening, working to a brief provided by Hyundai and with a set time limit. The winner will be revealed during the formal awards ceremony. 

Although the process of designing a car has evolved heavily since the early days, the fundamentals remain the same. Sketching is still a core skill and it is unlikely that any designer has got to where they are today without at least a rudimentary ability to plan, experiment and refine an idea through graphite or ink. 

2086 Ultima Media People Awards assets Sponsors-Email-Signature-Sponsor-Sketch-Battle

“Sketching is often how people discover they want to be a car designer,” comments James McLachlan, editor of Car Design News. “Scratching out a wheeled box as a child is a fundamental part of those initial baby steps towards a career in car design. As years pass and those 2D efforts morph into ever more sophisticated three-dimensional forms, the fascination with line drawing never fades away.”

The work will be judged by Hyundai design executives including Peter Schreyer and Simon Loasby, who helped to create the brief for the battle. “There is nothing like a sketch on paper. It’s spontaneous – a direct line from your brain-to hand-to paper,” notes Schreyer. “It is a piece of art: pure and impulsive. And always a kind of celebration when mounted on the wall. It has a lasting value and inspires you each time you walk by.”

Peter Schreyer, Hyundai Motor Group

Peter Schreyer will reveal the winner

Channelling the Group’s wider ambitions around future mobility, students have been asked to design a futuristic urban air mobility vehicle and hub that seamlessly integrates with different autonomous vehicles. Students have been encouraged to consider aspects such as passenger experience, safety, and the hub’s impact on urban landscapes.

The students will have 30 minutes to complete the brief, after which their work will be displayed at the CDN People Awards reception. The 400 guests will have an opportunity to talk to the sketchers and vote for their favourite. And importantly, the winning student will receive a certificate on stage presented by Peter Shreyer, with their work celebrated by many established designers and, perhaps, potential employers.

“In the face of digital design tools, which though useful, can obfuscate the true nature of talent, sketching is the fastest way to intuit the ability of the practitioner,” says McLachlan. “To demonstrate those skills in front of true masters is a rare opportunity and one that can result in that crucial break into the car design world.”

A sketch-off is particularly special as it places an emphasis on speed and brings added pressure that might not usually be experienced from the comfort of their home or a quiet corner of the studio. For now, the CDN team encourages the participating students to sharpen their pencils, refill their pens and get ready to sketch.

Car Design Academy Sketch Battle 06

It’s not CDN’s first sketch battle; 2015 sketch-off in Tokyo shown above 

The details:

Date: 7th Dec

Time: 3-4pm

Location: The Londoner Hotel, Leicester Square

Participating universities: Coventry University, University of Wales - Trinity Saint David, Staffordshire University, Royal College of Arts

The 2023 sketch battle is sponsored by Hyundai