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Contest: Volkswagen Slipstream wins 2007 LA Design Challenge

Fri, 07 Dec 2007 00:00:00 -0800

Volkswagen's Slipstream concept has won the fourth annual Design Challenge competition, part of the Design Los Angeles automobile designer's conference. The award was presented during the second press day of the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show. 

The theme of this year's competition, RoboCar of 2057, asked eight automotive design studios in California to form their vision of the future by depicting a vehicle that incorporates artificial intelligence engineered to make life easier and more attractive to consumers 50 years from now.

Designers entered two-dimensional renderings and concept descriptions predicting how the rapidly advancing field of artificial intelligence will integrate into the automobile to make life safer, more practical and attractive, and the entries were judged by multi-discipline design professionals who selected the winner based on its originality of creative concept, integration of robotics and level of adaptation to a variety of environmental conditions and consumer needs.

"The scope of the entries was very impressive and in the end it came down to which team had the most innovative and fun design that could be best applied to a daily lifestyle," said Chuck Pelly, director of Design Los Angeles and partner in The Design Academy, Inc. "Volkswagen's designers showed passion and ultimately created a brighter vision of 2057."

Volkswagen's concept, which was designed in the Volkswagen/Audi Los Angeles Design Center by Derek Jenkins, Ian Hilton and Patrick Faulwetter, beat the Audi Virtuea Quattro (also designed at the Volkswagen/Audi Design Center California); Toyota's Biomobile from the CALTY design research studio; General Motors' GM Ant conceived at Advanced Design California, Honda's 124 Solar Hybrid from Honda Research & Development, Mazda MotoNari RX 2057 designed at Mazda R&D of North America; the Mercedes-Benz SilverFlow from Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design North America and the Nissan OneOne from Nissan Design America.

"All the creativity shown in these entries made me wish I was still in the studios competing in this challenge," said Tom Matano, Director of the Industrial Design program at the Academy of Art University and General Manager of Mazda Design. "We looked at all the entries, and looking at the criteria we came to the conclusion that Volkswagen was the winner.

"Their entry met the criteria best, but also the visual quality of the presentation made it a worthy winner as well," Matano continued. "In the movie industry there is always a dark image of the future, but in the car industry there is a bright image of the future, and I'm really proud of the industry."

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By Eric Gallina