DETROIT – Design an interior for a 2025 fullsize pickup truck.

That was the challenge for the fifth annual WardsAuto Student Design Competition. Fifteen talented seniors from the Transportation Design Dept. at the College for Creative Studies answered the call, creating impressive concepts during a class sponsored by WardsAuto and interior suppliers Lear and IAC.

The six finalists in the competition were announced Wednesday at a special ceremony during the 2014 SAE World Congress at the WardsAuto booth.

The finalists are: Sangwoo Cho, Keunhyuk Choi, Paul Mutter, Arkadiy Okhman, Tyler Charest and Dongsung Choi.

The students, hailing from all over the world, started their assignment with a tour of the North American International Auto show in January. There, they saw firsthand all the fullsize pickups currently available in the U.S., guided by class instructor Joann Jung, who is manager of global interior design strategy at Ford.

Students were given a full briefing on the lifestyle of a hypothetical pickup buyer in 2025, a successful couple in their 50s. The husband is a building contractor and the wife is a veterinarian for large animals. They have two grown children who participate regularly in family activities such as boating, snowmobiling and camping.

The projects were judged by a panel of top auto industry designers: Ariel Choi, lead designer at Calty Design Research; Teckla Rhoads, executive director-Global Industrial Design for General Motors; Scott Ferrier, design manager-Ford; and Robert Walker, chief designer-Jeep Brand Interiors at Chrysler.

The student projects, currently on display at WardsAuto booth 1209, also will be on exhibit at the WardsAuto Interiors Conference May 21 at The Henry hotel in Dearborn, MI. The grand prize winner will be announced during the conference, along with the recipients of special awards from IAC and Lear.

The Lear Innovation Award is given to the student whose work includes specific design or technical innovation the judges deem particularly inspired and forward-thinking.

The IAC EcoBlend Award will go to the student whose design or concept best embraces green mobility or uses lightweight renewable/recyclable materials and other Earth-friendly innovations.

dwinter@wardsauto.com