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Bentley future design competition held at Hongik University, South Korea

Wed, 03 Sep 2014

Bentley has held its first design competition in collaboration with a university outside the UK. Director of design, Luc Donckerwolke, and head of exterior and advanced design, Sangyup Lee, tasked students at Hongik University in Seoul with designing a Bentley that would be released in 2040.

In addition to looking to the future, students were asked to take the Bentley 'Blue Train' as inspiration: the car driven by three-time Le Mans-winner, Woolf Barnato, who, in March 1930, bet £100 that he could drive his Bentley from Cannes in the south of France to The Conservative Club in London in the time it took the luxurious Blue Train to travel from Cannes to Calais on the English Channel. Barnato succeeded, beating the train by four minutes.
Donckerwolke and Lee visited Korea twice during the contest to evaluate the work of each student and provide feedback. On 1 August, the designers were joined by Bora Kim, who graduated Hongik University and is currently working with Bentley's exterior design team, to attend the final student presentations and select the winner.
Among the 11 students who participated, transportation design major Kim Cha Young took first place, with Bentley's design team praising her "fresh and futuristic design that shows the unique lines of a Bentley." Second place went to Park Sung Jin, who received high scores for combining creative ideas with realistic images.
The winner and runner-up will be invited to visit Bentley's design center in Crewe, where they will have the chance to make quarter-sized models of their competition-winning designs. They will also present their works in front of Bentley's senior executives.
Donckerwolke said, "Designing Bentley is hard work but I was very surprised and impressed by the talents and passion of all the students. For this joint class between Bentley and Hongik University, the most important task was to balance the tradition and new changes. And I could see many of such ideas from the presentations and it was ever more meaningful to me as well since I was inspired and motivated by the creative ideas of the students.
SangYup Lee added, "Design is one of the most critical things in Bentley as design reflects Bentley's heritage and brand itself. The Designing a Bentley for 2040 competition is a great way for us to support future designers and their visions."

Related articles:
Designer Interviews: Luc Donckerwolke, Bentley director of design 
Who’s Where: Sangyup Lee appointed Bentley’s head of exterior design

By Tom Phillips