Special Coverage

SAE World Congress

DETROIT – Five young designers from the prestigious College for Creative Studies are named finalists in the second annual Ward’s Auto Interiors student design competition at the SAE World Congress here.

The finalists, Andrew Bianchi, M. (Ross) Gray, Haneif Katebi, Bozenka Shepherd and Leonard Takada, took part in a special 7-week design project, sponsored by Ward’s and interior suppliers IAC and Lear.

Under the supervision of CCS instructor Clyde Foles, the students were challenged to create a vehicle interior for an active, young professional in the year 2020.

The design brief for the interior design given to the students required the following elements:

  • New technologies and materials that are innovative, but available for production 10 years from now.
  • The latest features and interactive controls, while actively discouraging distracted driving.
  • Good environment for both work and fun.
  • Sensible, comfortable seating and interaction for at least four people.
  • Components that come together as a stylish, compelling design.

The finalists were selected by three top auto industry designers: Robert Gelardi, design manager-Mustang program, Ford; Dan Vivian, director-engineering design, Hyundai-Kia Motors N.A.; and Peter Davis, chief stylist at Tata Technologies.

The five student designers will move on to be honored at the Ward’s Auto Interiors Conference May 17 at the Henry Hotel – formerly known as the Ritz Carlton in Dearborn, MI.

At the May conference, Ward’s will announce the grand-prize winner and also reveal two special award winners: The recipient of the IAC EcoBlend award honoring an outstanding green design and the Lear Design Innovation Award honoring a design that features an especially remarkable idea.

Each of three winners will earn scholarship money to help further their educations.

This is the second year Ward’s has put together a student design competition, which will be an annual event.

Video Highlights from 2011 Ward's Student Design Competition

dwinter@wardsauto.com