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Coventry University MA Degree Show 2006

Fri, 15 Dec 2006 MA students from UK's Coventry University Automotive Design course presented their annual MA degree exhibition earlier this month.

The Show, entitled 'Icons', which this year revolved around the central theme of designing tomorrows automotive 'Icons', displayed the students' work at Coventry's Transport Museum.

Patrick le Quement, Renault's senior vice president of Corporate Design presented the Corus Award for 'Best Vehicle Design', which was awarded to Dev O'Nion who won for his design concept 'Apto Sapor.'

O'Nion's project - an interior design concept - was inspired by organic themes in nature - what he called 'Natural Design' - to create a harmonious interior; a blend of the natural, biological and technical.

This was the first time an interior design concept has won the 'Best Vehicle Design' award in the show and indicates the increasing importance of interior design at Coventry, which will launch an Automotive Interiors design course in Autumn 2007.

The winning design was selected from 13 projects by the judging panel, which included Patrick le Quement, Senior Vice President, Corporate Design, Renault; Silvia Baruffaldi, Managing Editor, Auto & Design; Professor Michael Tovey, Dean of School of Art & Design, Coventry University and Professor Jon King, Director Corus Automotive.

"I am delighted that this year the top prize has been awarded to an interior design concept," said le Quement, during the awards presentation. "It is based on the use of new and innovative materials which allow a change in form and shape, in order to satisfy a desired function. It is a project which is very promising, conveying a feeling of protection, and thereby reducing the level of stress for the driver. The use of innovative rear-wheel steering promotes a completely new driving sensation."

"It is a project that literally stretches the imagination," said Professor Jon King, director of Corus Automotive and chair of the judging panel. "It is well researched, and explores a new form of design language and expression. This model really demonstrates the potential for his concept, which was well communicated. Contrary to past competitions, it is also a concept for an interior rather than an exterior...highlighting its important role in car design: The exterior gets you into the car, but the interior keeps you in it."

Second prize at the event was awarded to Kazunori Inomata for his 'F&D' concept, which presented ideas for addressing driver anxiety and urban safety and which was presented digitally.

Third prize went to Jan Dedek for his 'E-go' design which looked at the provision of minimum-impact mobility in an urban environment for city centres which are car-free.

Another project by Mujammil Khan-Muztar was callled 'The Puzzle', so-named for being 'a jigsaw of motorist, car and the environment.' The car aims to reduce driver anxiety through sympathetic design, and included elements such as its jigsaw-shaped doors and screen

Toshihiko Kubota's project was based on his design philosophy 'Symbiosis with Nature' in which Kubota took natural elements -  land, forest and water - and expressed them through his design which was shaped by core Japanese cultural elements such as origami.

Jimi Pearce's MergeNC (New Concept) designed an urban patrol vehicle that protects the emergency services by reducing response time and providing a safe environment for them to work.

Massimo Prando took the intellectual and artistic idea of dimensionalism to take the car beyond traditional dimensions using what he called 'a static plastic dynamism'.

Ramesh Renati looked at fundamentals of eastern spirituality and created a car that provided a meditative and healing space for occupants.

Using advanced technological ideas Drew Smith created a car that incorporated light-generating displays in to the bodywork to allow the vehicle to change its surface in terms of colour and pattern.

Oliver Stephens has designed a vehicle to provide new options for travel for urban commuters in response to the negative environmental effects associated with traditional motor cars.

In light of the car industry's exploration of alternative energy and advanced powertrains, Ed Stubbs looked at advanced aerodynamics to reduce fuel consumption and challenged the idea that only small cars can be efficient.

Reno Wideson's project - an advanced design for a motorcycle - looks at how future motorbikes could be more socially and environmentally responsible, yet still be exciting and appealing.

Lulu Yen has created a vehicle that interacts with other road users via its turn signal 'Dandelion Indicators' to communicate messages such as 'thank you' and 'right of way', for more good-natured driving.

By Ryan Borroff