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Car Design News to host a trio of events around Beijing auto show

Thu, 12 Apr 2012

As the automotive world looks forward to Beijing, and what promises to be one of the most significant auto show in this year's calendar, Car Design News is actively contributing to the focus on China by hosting three events – CDN Interior Motives China Conference, Car Design Awards China and Car Design Night.

CDN Interior Motives China Conference

Our annual CDN Interior Motives China Conference takes place over the weekend of 21-22 April, immediately prior to the opening of the motor show. The theme of this year's conference – ‘Chinese Car Design 2.0 The foundations are in place; let the creativity begin' – neatly sums up the challenge facing designers in the world's largest car market.

Massive investment has delivered huge car production volume recently, but more exciting from our perspective are the number of new design studios opened and designers hired. These include a rash of recent senior designer appointments – many from outside China – who will play an important role in the application of design creativity.

"Advanced, professional and impressive," commented Xie Lei, an exterior designer with Chery, after last year's conference, which took place in Shanghai. From outside China came Fiat Brasil's Chief Interior Designer Mateus Silveira, who praised it as the place "where interior designers meet to share new and inspiring ideas". Summing up was Tan Yali, from the color and trim team at Ford Chang'an. "I like it, it's very useful," he said.

Attendees this year will again include those from domestic carmakers, the local design centers of global OEMs, and from a wide range of international design companies. Speakers will be just as varied, and include: from domestic OEMs Liu Zhilu, Head of Styling at FAW, and Zhang Fan, Co-chief Designer of GAC; from the local design centers of foreign OEMs Simon Loasby and Taiji Toyota, who head the studios of Volkswagen China and Nissan respectively, and Wulin Goawa, Advanced Design Director of General Motors China.

They will be joined by westerners who lead the studios of Chinese companies, including Tony Williams, Global Design Director of SAIC, and veterans Peter Horbury and Gert Hildebrand, who lead the design activities at Geely Group and Qoros Auto respectively.

Finally, completing the triangle of brand, ownership and nationality, global speakers will include Bryan Nesbitt, Vice President of Design for General Motors International, Simon Humphries, Executive Chief Creative Designer at Toyota, and Felix Somerville Sharf, Head of New Mobility at Volkswagen's New Mobility Services Investment.

The conference offers simultaneous translation between English and Mandarin. See the CDN Interior Motives China Conference website for full details and to register to attend. Discounts to the regular delegate fee are available for attendees from within China.

The CDN Interior Motives China conference 2012 is supported by sponsors 3M, Alcantara, Aunde, Dassault Systemes, Eagle Ottawa, Icona Solutions, Johnson Controls, Kongsberg Automotive, SRG Global and Technicon Design, all of whom will have displays at the event. Practical workshops on design and creativity in fabrics and materials, from Aunde and Alcantara will conclude the conference.

Car Design China Awards

Conference delegates will be transported to join a wide range of other guests on the evening of Saturday 21 April for the Car Design Awards China at CH-Auto's impressive R&D Center.

The competition invites China's students to design against briefs set by five OEMs to win one of 10 opportunities of a fully-funded, two week placement at one of five western design schools.

Now in its third year, the annual contest has quickly established itself as the premier event in China for new car design talent.

"There is a tremendous demand here to visualize the new China," commented Olivier Boulay, Vice President at Daimler's Advanced Design Center in China, who was one of the judges of the 2012 entries. "China is reinventing itself, which has given huge scope to designers to be creative. It's our job to encourage this direction and let these designers fly a little bit into future."

"This is my third year of judging and the level gets better every year," added Richard Chung, Vice President of Industrial Design, Craftsmanship and Consumer Research for Asia Pacific at Johnson Controls. "You can really see the level of maturity in the students as well as the diversity of their solutions."

Nine awards will be presented in categories ranging from Interior, Luxury and Eco, to an award for the design best reflecting China's cultural heritage. Chris Bangle will again be presenting the ceremony, which will feature a buffet dinner, drinks and a display of all the finalists' work.

Accompanying the students will be their course tutors, in acknowledgement that the best talent also needs great teaching to flourish.

Car Design News is extremely grateful for the support of a panel of 17 domestic and global judges, as well as for the competition briefs provided by Daimler, General Motors, JAC, Nissan and VW. Winning students will complete their placements at CCS, Coventry University, IAAD, Strate College or Umeå Institute of Design.

Visit the Car Design China Awards website for the names of the shortlisted students and all the details of the competition.

CH-Auto is the Premier sponsor of Car Design Awards China 2012 and will present a special award to the Student Design of the Year at the climax of the evening. CH-Auto is joined by category sponsors Alcantara, CGT, Dassault Systemes, Eagle Ottawa, Faurecia, Icona, Johnson Controls, Lear, Qoros and Yanfeng Visteon

Car Design Night

The third of Car Design News' trio of Beijing events will be the official Car Design Night, providing a place for professional designers to relax and network among their peers on the evening of Monday April 23 at the end of the first press day of the auto show.

Due to high demand the event is restricted to designers from OEMs who can register at

Of course the Car Design News editorial team will be there, as they will at each of our events in Beijing, reporting on the conference and the awards ceremony along with all the news from the motor show. Look out for our CDNLive coverage from the floor of the auto show over the two press days.

We loook forward to seeing you there.

Related artices:
Winners announced in 2011 Car Design Awards competition
Report: Interior Motives China Conference 2011 – Day 1