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Northumbria University degree show 2010

Fri, 06 Aug 2010 Northumbria University's Transportation Design undergraduate degree course has gained a strong reputation over its relatively short history. Once an entirely independent course, it is now more closely aligned with the Design School's highly regarded Industrial Design program.

This year, 16 students displayed a wide range of projects from traditional automotive designs through to more product design work as disparate as storage and even a publishing solution.

CDN headed to Newcastle-upon-Tyne to seek out the best of this years' class.

Marcus Classen
Porsche Sebring Spyder
Seeking a new, lightweight aesthetic for Porsche as we move towards a future of EVs was Classen's inspiration for his Sebring Spyder project. Its modular construction, which hangs components from a central frame, allowed the exploration of a more fragmented treatment as a riposte to Porsche's traditional solidity. "Visual weight could be removed from the bodywork, especially in the lower sections of the body where the body does not need to cover the platform," says Classen. "The question is: how much visual weight can be removed until the design stops being distinctively Porsche?" Taught but full surface volume and precise detailing were identified as Porsche cues, while features such as the floating aero-screen/wing mirror bar suggest a high-tech lightness.

David Hardie
Audi Rally Coupe
Another project dealing with the design possibilities presented by a new drivetrain technologies is the Audi Rally Coupe, which draws on the brand's rally heritage. By employing a driving position often seen in student projects with the driver lying face down, Hardie looks for new ways in which to inject more of the "thrill of control". A pair of 'driving glasses' display heads-up information, while all of the driver's movements are used to control the vehicle. Traditional Audi design features such as the full-frame grille are remixed to accommodate the new packaging proportions.

Jack Lamburn
Lotus Esira
Taking the Lotus mantra of 'adding lightness' into the next generation of increasingly environmentally-aware sports cars, Lamburn looked to the company's enigmatic founder for inspiration, asking "What would Colin Chapman have done?" The reduction of components, costs and weight led Lamburn to design a tubular framed body, covered in flexible, impact-absorbing d3o, creating an unavoidable comparison to the BMW Light GINA concept. Meanwhile the interior is designed with James Bond in mind, featuring a plethora of secret gadgets including a safe dial starting mechanism. Presumably cracking the code isn't required.

Jonathan Douglas
MMX Patrol
Douglas drew from his four year involvement in the Territorial Army and the changing roles of military patrol vehicles in current conflicts to design a more suitable solution. Its V-shaped hull and multi-faceted body surfaces help to deflect blasts from IED roadside bombs away from the occupants. Despite the increased troop protection, Douglas was also conscious of allowing civilians to see the faces of those on board so as to aid in peace-keeping situations, in accordance with the Counter-insurgency Doctrine.

Continues →

By Owen Ready