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Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment crowns first Sketchmaster

Tue, 28 Jan 2014

College for Creative Studies (CCS) student Graham Wright has fought off competition from artists, illustrators, industrial, product and car designers to be declared the Sketchmaster of the Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment 2014.

Held at Detroit's Kunsthalle Museum of Contemporary Art, the contest – a self-styled fight club of design – carried the theme of lighting because of the museum's many neon and lighting installations.

Before the event, design students from the area – mostly from the CCS and Lawrence Technological University (LTU) – were invited to submit early sketches before a shortlist was drawn up for the main event.

In the competition's first round, the entrants' brief was ‘Use the recent advances in lighting technology to create a headlamp theme that helps brand a vehicle'. From this stage just four designers made the final, where they were given license to free-sketch – as long as it was automotive-focused.

Wright's sketch saw him awarded a trophy custom-built by automotive supplier QMC. He also received a copy of Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Spencer Nugent's ‘500sketches' ebook and copies of CARR magazine, along with runners up Ian Galvin, Nick Daiber and Steve Brown.

Judging the event this year was former Ford designer and now owner of his own design studio Kyle Evans, chief designer of Jeep Interiors Robert Walker, and Craig Mackiewicz, design studio lead for Altair/Thinklabs and the chair of the Michigan branch of the Industrial Designers Society of America.

More than 500 people attended the event, including industry leaders, designers from Ford, GM, Chrysler, Toyota and Tier One suppliers.

By Rufus Thompson