Challenge Design celebrates ten years; reveals 2012 design theme
First introduced at the 2002 North American
International Auto Show (NAIAS), the Michelin Challenge Design
program now celebrates its tenth year. The program has seen dramatic
growth in its first decade and will celebrate this milestone
by returning to the Auto Show with an exhibit displaying various
forms of design innovation and examples of the partnerships necessary
to make this kind of program a long-term success.
Created to recognize and support design by providing an opportunity
for designers from all over the world to present their most interesting
works at one of the world’s premier auto shows, the program has
seen dramatic growth in its first decade.
Michelin Challenge Design has received nearly 3,000 entries over
10 years. Participants have represented 98 countries. In the
first year (2003 NAIAS), 17 of 125 submissions were selected
to be displayed in the exhibit. This year, 34 works were selected
out of a record 970 entries. While Michelin Challenge Design
has doubled the works displayed, the number of submissions has
increased by over 700 percent. Pre-registration has started for
the 2012 Michelin Challenge Design, and initial feedback indicates
another record year is in store.
Repeat jurors, including Freeman Thomas, Ford Motor Company;
David Marek, Honda R&D Americas; Gecza Loczi, Volvo Monitoring
and Safety Center; Frank Saucedo, General Motors Advanced Design,
said that the quality of the work submitted for judging has increased
each year as well.
The Michelin Challenge Design jury has included 40 judges from
all over the automotive industry. Among the more than 20 organizations
represented have been BMW Designworks, Chrysler, Ford Motor Company,
General Motors, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, and Nissan. Newcomers for
2011 included Phil Zak, Hyundai Americas Technical Center; Franz
von Holzhausen, Tesla; and Anne Asensio, Dassault Systemes.
Interest from the design community that the program serves to
support and encourage is evident by a 50 percent increase in
the number of participating jurors from the 2003 to the 2011
juries. Stewart Reed, chair of the Transportation Design Department
at Art Center College of Design, participated first as juror
and then as jury chairman, has been a part of every Michelin
Challenge Design jury.
“Through Michelin Challenge Design, we obtain the foresight to
address potential transportation challenges and can use our research
and development to better prepare everyone for a greater, sustainable
mobility future,” said John Moloney, vice president of original
equipment marketing, Michelin North and South America.
Michelin Challenge Design helps drive awareness of the growing
importance of the role of design in vehicle development and the
challenges that face the discipline.
In the first NAIAS display, Michelin Challenge Design focused
on work from iconic and inspirational Italian designers. Then,
the theme paid homage to Michelin’s home in France, as participants
were challenged with creating design concepts that reflected
the unique character of French design. Later, design challenges
looked at a possible future for vehicles in China and the influence
of German design. In 2009, participants expressed their vision
of America’s iconic vehicle design under the theme: Brave + Bold.
Transportation and industry solutions explored through Michelin
Challenge Design have included solutions for alternative powertrains,
vehicle-to-vehicle safety issues, fuel-efficient, smaller vehicles
and at the future of electrifying vehicles.
A strong history of inspiring themes led to the 2011 Michelin
Challenge Design theme “Plus 10: The Best is Yet to Come.” For
Michelin, the first ten years of the Michelin Challenge Design
program are just the beginning.
The theme for 2012 announced at NAIAS is “City 2046: Art, Life
and Ingenuity.” In honor of Michelin’s tradition of innovation,
2046 was chosen because it is the 100th anniversary of the radial
The 2012 Michelin Challenge Design participants are asked to
present their vision of city transportation for Paris, Shanghai,
Mumbai, Rio or Los Angeles for the year 2046. Each of these cities
has a specific set of challenges, and disruptive innovation may
be what each needs to get transportation from the formula in
use today to that of 2046.
Registration for the 2012 Michelin Challenge Design opened to
the strongest response in Challenge’s history. From the first
week, submissions have exceeded the record-setting 2011 Michelin
Participants in the 2012 competition will choose between Los
Angles, Mumbai, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, or Shanghai and to design
a personal, ground-based vehicle capable of transporting between
two and ten people. In selecting a city, the vehicle proposal
must provide a solution to the transportation issues unique to
Pre-registration and entry submission information is available