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LA Design Challenge 2011: studios compete to design Hollywood car

Wed, 17 Aug 2011 00:00:00 -0700

This year's LA Design Challenge will see competitors from around the world battle to design Hollywood's next movie car.

Participating design studios from General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz Germany (Smart), Mercedes-Benz Japan (Maybach) and Mercedes-Benz US will all be showcasing their creative talents in an effort to secure top honors.

Automobiles in Hollywood films produced throughout the years have become some of the most iconic symbols of the films – perhaps as important as the movies themselves. They have propelled many vehicles to acclaim and notoriety that it's questionnable they'd have otherwise achieved. Most notably, the Back to the Future movies championed the DeLorean, now widely recognized as ‘that car from Back to the Future', while the James Bond movies have all given exposure to some design studios' finest work, most famously that of Aston Martin.

Chuck Pelly, director of Design Los Angeles and partner in The Design Academy, Inc, says "We have some amazing talents participating and can expect blockbuster design concepts that fuse design and technology in innovative ways."

The winning design will be announced on 17 November during the Design Los Angeles conference at the Los Angeles auto show. The judging panel will make their decisions based on how well the vehicle reflects its brand attributes relative to the plot, how well the vehicle relates to the targeted audience or brand, the level of imagination, the character development of the vehicle, and the uniqueness of the combination of story, car and character.

The judging panel will consist of Tom Matano, director of Industrial Design at San Francisco's Academy of Art University, Imre Molnar, dean of Detroit's College for Creative Studies and Stewart Reed, chairman, Transportation Design at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design. A special guest judge with experience in working on movie cars from Pixar Animation Studios will also be on hand to give his verdict on the final submissions.

By Rufus Thompson