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College Exhibition: Art Center Summer Show 2011 - Non-thesis work

Mon, 05 Sep 2011

Art Center College of Design held its annual Summer Degree show at its campus in Pasadena, California on the eve of the Pebble Beach weekend of events. Besides their main crux of thesis projects, nine graduating students in the acclaimed Transportation Design course showcased some of the designs they worked on during their internships and in previous years. Here is a selection of these projects:

MorphoGenesis concept
Won Awe
Awe's internship project was created while at Volvo in California. He came up with the methological creative process to find a new lightweight vehicle structure. "Everyone is looking at bionic shapes but that doesn't mean anything without function." Awe said. He therefore used woolen threads that he laid out in a criss-crossed pattern over a surface before pouring water onto it, enabling him to find the ‘vectorized' path between the hard points of the suspension, passengers and drivetrain. He then simplified this complicated form into a lightweight space frame he calls a ‘higher level of organizational form'.

Honda Air concept
Makota Harada
One of the three projects Harada showed was this Honda Air concept, which he created while on internship at the Japanese company. Weighing in at less than 1000lbs. the 2+2 seat concept is pure and simple: "It's what's needed but nothing else," Harada says. As the vehicle is powered by air, the form has been determined by air flowing through the car: air gets distributed to the wheels via an undercar system of turbines, while the hollow pillars above the car filter air through to the rear.

Beauty within scars
Andrew Kang
Besides his thesis work, Kang's other project came in the form of an avant-garde Peugeot concept he calls ‘Beauty within scars'. He has been working on the project independently since he enrolled at Art Center. "I want to change the way people see things," Kang said, "A scar can be beautiful." In creating the 2+2 seat concept Kang said he looked at Gargoyles, which have an aggressive face, but are also very protective; "I feel they're misunderstood," he said. "I wanted to play with graphics and see how far I could push a car to make it look as if it's moving forward." The interior features flowing volumes Kang likens to "a dress floating in the wind."

Kota mobility concept
Musa Tjahjono
Alongside his Buick High Luxury thesis project Tjahjono also displayed the Kota concept at the show. The mobility system project includes a catamaran and air vessel as well as a zip line to connect the vehicles to villages without impeding in the natural environment. It is meant to preserve the natural culture of Tjahjono's native Indonesia while facilitating local inhabitants' lifestyle.

Honda and Citroen interior projects
Eric Ma
Ma's focus on interiors also led him to create a concept for Honda while on internship there. That project, intended for the year 2025, focused on natural immersion, and was intended for people moving out of cities to promote a more eco-active lifestyle. It was based on the construction of a treehouse to showcase the movement to nature. Another of Ma's concepts was the modern Citroen Regeneration project, which focused on the needs of youth in crowded urban metropolises.

Holistica concept
Eric Miller
Miller created a vision for a new kind of vehicle company, which is dedicated to alternative and active forms of personal mobility. He displayed his four-part vision in a series of videos at Honda's Advanced Design Studio in Pasadena: Yogo provides a driving experience akin to skim-boarding in a variety of postures; Zgo is designed to weave through traffic on a platform that is safer than a motorcycle and more fun than a Segway; Wego provides a drive experience for two, either seated like on a jet-ski or strapped to a board like a wakeboarder; and Xgo is engineered to avoid collisions via vector-thrusting in order to alleviate all loads of force or stress through vehicular inversion.

Hyundai Genesis 2
Junho Gil
Gil also worked on creating the next generation Genesis sedan during his internship at Hyundai's California design studio. It was one of two projects he chose to display. For this project, his goal was to try to understand Fluidic Sculpture "It's all about curved lines and shape," Gil said, "So I developed emotional drawings into sculptural curvature lines on the body." The design also features convex and concave surfacing along the bodyside and reverse curvature lines below the lightcatcher to balance the forms.

See our Art Center Summer Show 2011 article for a full selection of all nine student thesis projects created by this year's graduating class.

Related Article:
College Exhibition: Art Center Summer Show 2011

By Eric Gallina