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American Dreaming: Exhibit Looks Back at the Golden Age of the U.S. Auto Industry

Rare finds often were smuggled out of Detroit’s design studios.

by on Apr.24, 2015

Bill Blogh's 1953 Ford concept sketch captured the sci-fi mood of the era.

In the optimistic post-War era, few things better defined the American lifestyle than the cars we drove. The ’57 Chevy and the finned Cadillac Eldorado were far more than mere transportation.

Drawings and sketches by designers who created the cars of the 1950s and 1960s are being honored with a unique display at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan through May 2.

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The exhibit, “American Dreaming: Detroit ’s Golden Age of Automotive Design,” is the first comprehensive exhibition to offer a look at the art work produced inside the design studios of Detroit ’s automakers between 1946 to 1973.

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Designing Men? Stylist Schreyer Named New Kia President

Credited with transforming the brand.

by on Jan.03, 2013

New Kia Pres. Peter Schreyer.

Given much of the credit from helping transform the brand’s traditionally cheap and dowdy image, German-born styling chief Peter Schreyer has been named one of three president at Kia Motor Corp.

It marks not only one of the rare occasions when a senior stylist has achieved such a lofty position at a major car company but also makes Schreyer the first foreigner to hold such a senior spot in the fast-growing Korean auto industry.

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“The promotion shows Kia’s key focus areas shifting from production and cost efficiency, which were traditionally considered more important, to design and research and development,” suggested Seoul-based analyst Shin Chung Kwan, of KB Investment & Securities. “It also symbolizes Kia’s urge to advance as a global company, showing a foreigner could make it to one of the top positions.”

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Student Designers Aim to Reinvent the Wheel

Tomorrow’s stylists asked to “lightweight with passion.”

by on Dec.04, 2012

One of the winners from the 24th annual Michelin Design Challenge.

Short of having four wheels, tomorrow’s automobiles may look very different from those of today as automakers adapt to a variety of challenges like fuel economy and safety regulations, overcrowded highways and other concerns.

So why not let the designers of tomorrow see what concepts they can come up with? That’s the premise behind the Michelin Challenge Design competition which turned to students at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies, one of the fertile sources for some of the best stylists in the industry today.

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Now in its 24th year, the theme for the latest design competition was “Half! Lightweight with Passion,” putting the emphasis on slicing the weight of a typical vehicle without having to sacrifice room, comfort, safety and other factors. As might be expected, considering Michelin’s sponsorship, students were asked to come up with some interesting ways to advance tire and wheel technology as part of the process.

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Automotive design contest seeks light vehicle ideas

The Los Angeles Auto Show Design Challenge winner will be unveiled during auto show press days.

by on Aug.18, 2010

Lotus did a design study of the Toyota Venza crossover showing how it could reduce vehicle weight by 38 percent with just 3 percent more material cost.

Consumers want more fuel-efficient vehicles and one way to help is to make vehicles lighter.

With that in mind, this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show Design Challenge asks design studios to envision the 1,000 pound, 2+2 vehicle that is both comfortable and secure, while delivering satisfactory driving performance without sacrificing the emotional connection and beautiful styling consumers demand.

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Design challenge!

For the first time, participating design studios from not only the U.S., but also Germany and Japan, will compete against each other to showcase their talents. Design studios from General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz Germany (Smart), Mercedes-Benz Japan (Maybach), Mercedes-Benz U.S., Nissan, Toyota and Volvo will explore new ideas in automotive design as they contend for this top annual design honor.
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