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Royal College of Art Degree Show 2010

Thu, 29 Jul 2010 00:00:00 -0700

Car Design News made its annual pilgrimage to Kensington Gore in central London for the opening of the prestigious Transport Design exhibition.

Fifteen students graduated from the course this year all of whose work was viewed by a number of RCA alumni including Patrick Le Quément, David Wilkie and Peter Stevens.

As with many of the college exhibitions this year, there was a clear emphasis on sustainability and the reinvention of the paradigms of ‘luxury' and ‘sportiness'.

David Seesing
The route architecture is taking towards sustainability provided the context for Seesing's project. By employing construction techniques and materials local to the car's home, "the interior pod was designed with the vehicle's response to place and connection to habitat in mind". Its body is constructed from three architecturally-influenced parts, covered in a skin embedded with photovoltaic cells and pizo electric crystals, helping to power and ventilate not only the car but also the house designed by Seesing, who received the Pilkington Award for The best Use of Glazing.

Marten Wallgren
The grid
By creating a range of autonomous vehicles, each designed to fulfill a specific function, Wallgren's project 'The grid' reengages users on an emotional level usually neglected in car-sharing systems. The model displayed illustrated a long-distance autonomous vehicle with an emphasis on comfort, aerodynamics and beautiful, engaging form language. The project scooped the Pilkington Award for Best Overall Design Interpretation.

Miika Heikkinen
Designed to provide sight-seeing tours during the Helsinki Winter Olympics, AAVA promotes the finest Finnish design philosophies and materials. Local glass, wool felt, recycled bio plastics, birch and ceramics keep material and manufacturer carbon footprints to a minimum, whilst also offering new industrial opportunities to the area. The car's form was inspired by a birch sculpture created by Heikkinen, built around graphics generated by intersecting patterns within the golden ratio. The result is a mathematic and rational aesthetic.

Stephanie Waser
Heimweh – German for homesickness – concentrates on the celebration of local traditions. As a counterpoint to globalization, Waser took inspiration from the natural materials and traditional artisan crafts of her region of Germany. The result is a warm, familiar and cocooning interior that mixes nature – such as the door cards' leaf motif – with super-precise instrumentation, inspired by Dieter Ramms; their juxtaposition resolved through their shared regional identity.

Philipp Siebourg
Weightmilage Suit
A taxation system linked to the weight of the car provides an incentive to think 'light'. The vehicle is based around a common aluminum composite structure to which the seat/body structure and clamshell safety cell are mounted. Each additional component adds weight and therefore cost, encouraging drivers to carry no more than necessary. The result is a car finely tailored to each drivers' needs.

Young-Seong ("Sammy") Kim
Rolls Royce Celestial Cloud
Despite exaggerating the Rolls Royce body-side to glasshouse ratio to a new extreme, the use of stratified glazing - allowing a glimpse of the white interior - bestows the Celestial Cloud with a visual lightness that isn't evident in any of the marque's current cars. In a society where equality is increasingly important, Kim sought a new, more acceptable and accepting luxury aesthetic. 

Dalibor Pantucek
Skoda Rapid
Clever, simple and flexible are the three words Pantucek uses to describe Skoda and also the inspiration of his project. A sliding chassis provides a variable wheelbase, while the floating body panels in calming blue give the impression of lightness and sportiness while avoiding aggression. Tranquil dynamism is also evident in the biomorphic interior through which air flows when driving. 

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By Owen Ready