2016 Michelin Challenge Design Automotive Press Association design panel
28 Apr 2015
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2016 Michelin Challenge Design Automotive Press Association design panel. Click for larger images
Panelists Jason Wilbur (left) and Ben Ebel
Presentation of a check donation for $7,600 to the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology

The Automotive Press Association (APA) Design Panel has taken place, marking the first of several milestones in the 2016 Michelin Challenge Design (MCD) calendar of events.

This year's panel discussion focused on the opportunities and challenges of creating sustainable and innovative transportation solutions for an under-served region, such as Southeast Asia, Central America or Central Africa, in line with the contest's theme: Mobility for All - Designing for the Next Frontier.

The event took place on April 15 at the Detroit Athletic Club, and over 60 people attended the APA members-only event sponsored by Michelin Challenge Design.

The 12th annual event opened with a welcome from APA president and Detroit Bureau Chief for Bloomberg News, Jeff Green, and a short introduction to MCD and the 2016 theme from Scott Pajtas, original equipment innovation deployment director, Michelin North America. Pajtas also presented a check donation for $7,600 to the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology (DIO) in support of its upcoming EyesOn Design car show and the DIO's research conferences.

Following introductions, moderator Jason Stein, editor and publisher of Automotive News, set up the discussion theme on behalf of the panelists:

Alexander Klatt - associate professor, Chair of the MFA Transportation Design Graduate Studies, College for Creative Studies
Jason Wilbur - manager, Advanced Design Studio, Honda R&D Americas, Inc.
Ben Ebel - design coordinator, Original Equipment Activities, Michelin North America, and Co-Chairman of Michelin Challenge Design

Klatt, Wilbur, and Ebel each weighed in on the relevancy and need for flexible, ingenious, simple, easy to use and repair mobility offerings for the next frontier. They discussed the necessity of creating scenarios to populate with goods and services, how to manufacture mobility solutions including the need for new materials for under-served areas, and the importance of local and regional cultural acceptance of various transportation offerings. The hour-long panel was wrapped with a Q&A session.

Consistently ranked among the most popular events on the APA calendar by its media members, the APA Design Panel is designed to help journalists become more knowledgeable about design and industry topics so they can more faithfully comment on the industry and vehicles and be aware of future trends.

To date, 550 entries have been received for the 2016 Michelin Challenge Design contest. The deadline for entries is June 1, 2015.

To register for the 2016 challenge or view the full length video of the APA Design Panel, visit www.michelinchallengedesign.com