Final year Vehicle Design students at the Royal College of Art recently showcased their work as part of The Show 2000: Design, Communications and Humanities, sponsored by Michelin, which was open from June 29 to July 10, in the college galleries in Kensington Gore, London.
Vehicle Design has been studied at the RCA since 1967, and is one of the world's most highly regarded automotive design courses, with an impressive employment record for graduates. Almost every automotive design studio in the world employs an RCA graduate, many in senior executive positions. The course is led by Acting Course Director Dale Harrow, supported by Visiting Professor Peter Stevens.
The vehicle design show was larger than ever this year, stretching the length of the main gallery. Many students showed several models, including the Citroen-sponsored project, 'A car for Paris'. Proposals included a 'mobile terasse' and a 'cafe car'.
Variety is the key in both the cultural backgrounds and the approaches to vehicle design by the postgraduate students. This years design proposals range from luxury lake cruisers to futuristic city transport solutions, from functional vehicles for rural India, to exotic roadsters.
Some students worked fully in the digital medium, Torkel Döhmers replacing the traditional clay or fiberglass model with rapid prototyping and digital animations to show future transport solutions. Others took advantage of more traditional techniques, to carve sculptural expressions from wood and metal. Byung-Gyu Choi took inspiration from jewellery design, and Ondine de la Feld created a sculptural design based on a phrase: 'A vehicle made to Tango'. Dale Peter Grewer and Yeong-Jae Yi impressed with provocative forms and excellent illustrations.
Pilkington Automotive once again played a major role in the exhibition, with their Design Awards presentation at the Private View on July 28. This year's awards went to Dale Peter Grewer and Byung-Gyu Choi.
This year the Vehicle Design display was shown together with Design Products and Computer Related Design on the main gallery level. Visitors to the show were also able to see work from other RCA courses, including Architecture and Interiors, Textiles, Industrial Design Engineering, and Communication Art and Design.