Now in its 13th year, the Car Design News Student Awards China shines a spotlight on the best young talent from across the country and this year was no exception.

Students responded to a brief set by Geely Design, which asked entrants to design a car for at least two of the brands: Geely Auto, Lotus, Lynk & Co and Zeekr.

Car Design News is delighted to announce the winners of the categories and the overall winner below:

Best Answer to the brief and Best Innovation: Han Jiayi, Peng Aocheng and Yang Yuting – Dalian University of Technology

The team demonstrated a broad set of skills, from sketching to digital design, in creating three very different approaches to the brief that nevertheless met with the judges’ requirements. In presenting the award Javier Garcia director, Advanced/Research/Technology at Zeekr commented on how the trio of designs could co-exist perfectly. The team also collected the best innovation award for their Colourful Market concept – a modular design that promotes social interaction with the city in a variety of settings. Car Design News editor James McLachlan commented the project “captured an optimistic vision as to how mobility can improve our lives with a modular structure that could be configured to suit different needs throughout the day.”

Best Focus on User-centred Design: He He and Wang Yi – Huaqiao University

Guy Burgoyne of Geely spoke on behalf of the jury when he praised the thoughtfulness of the team’s clustering concept, which allowed people to gather together based on activity. “The project had wonderful visuals and very consistent design language,” he concluded.

Best Presentation Material: Lai Yuchen and Li Haolin – Jiangnan University

In a hard fought category, the T-Motion concept by Lai Yuchen and Li Haolin stood out for its well realised and coherent package. Judge Russell Carr, design director at Lotus observed how, through “beautiful thumbnail sketches and package drawings, the team had put everything in context so it was easily understandable.”

Best Use of Material: Pan Qili, Huang Luoyi and Yang Wenlin – Beijing Institute Of Fashion Technology & Sichuan Fine Arts Institute

Frank Wu head of design at JiDU praised the use of materials such as bamboo shoots to create a biodegradable, clean eco-system. “I am sure there was a lot of research that went into the project,” Wu said.

Exterior Design and Geely Brief winner: Luo Zhenyu – Nanjing University of Science and Technology

The Geely Starship lived up to its billing with a elongated and dynamic form that, in the words of judge Larry Erickson, global director of exteriors design at Magna Exteriors, “gave the driver a great experience in going down the road or track with a wonderful view of the road…if you saw it on your high street you’d think an aircraft had landed.” Frank Wu agreed, describing an aggressive concept that chimed with the design language of Geely and which was “both simple and felt original.”

Interior design space and Lynk & Co brief winner: Luo Zhenyu – Nanjing University of Science and Technology

The connection to the environment around the passenger was a key factor in the Urban Hive concept scooping the interior design award. “It really fits with the future experience of autonomous vehicles and all the possibilities that come with it,” said Stefan Rosen SVP at Lynk & Co. “It is quite cubist but still dynamic – you get this sense of looking into the future.”

Best Sustainability Award: Chen Jialin, Su Xinyu and Cheng Chen – Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology, Chongqing University

The winners drew on a traditional Chinese form, the moon gate, to create a micromobility vehicle integrated into a mass transit system, which used natural starch as a raw material. “A well-thought-out project,” according to CDN’s James McLachlan.

Lotus brief winner: Li Xingyun and Lou Zihan – Beijing Institute of Technology

“This project really embodied the spirit of Lotus,” said Carr. “It is beautiful to look at, and ingenious, combining a motorcycle and sportscar. It is all about the driving experience both on and off road.”

Zeekr Brief winner: Meng Zihan -– Shenyang University of Technology

Garcia praised the communication of the package layout for the Explor project as well as the variety of different transport typologies included in the concept that came together to create a complete infrastructure.

New Brand winner: Chen Ari – Jiangsu University

This category challenged students to design a new brand from scratch. The winner was Chen Ari for a logistics system called Goodz, which demonstated a consistent and practical design language across all facets of the delivery process. ”We felt it would give the user the sense that the goods would arrive safely, on time and in style,” said  Burgoyne. 

Overall winner: Luo Zhenyu – Nanjing University of Science and Technology

The overall winner, Luo Zhenyu, wowed the judges with two contrasting projects: Urban Hive and Geely Starship. Larry Erickson spoke for all the judges in acknowledging how both designs placed great emphasis on a great user-experience thanks to well-designed glass houses. Very different in nature, the Urban Hive is a modular autonomous pod and the Geely Starship a dynamic, high-speed racer akin to an ‘aircraft’, the work demonstrated how the future of mobility can allow for contrasting approaches.