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Designers Envision Recyclable Components and Body Panels That Clean the Air

Home to one of the world’s greatest concentrations of automobile manufacturer design studios, Los Angeles is consistently ahead of the next trend, spawning ideas to help solve tomorrow’s challenges today. This century’s more eco-friendly vehicles are only the beginning of transforming the future of driving into an environmental experience.

For the third consecutive year, the Design Challenge has Los Angeles design studios shaping their vision of the future by creating a vehicle that is environmentally aware of its global footprint. Nine participating studios are exploring this new futuristic frontier by imagining a time when all vehicles have technology allowing the public to enjoy the distinctive Southern California lifestyle and unique environment without harming it.

Environmental Sustainability

These multi-purpose, environmentally sustainable design entries are as diverse as the beach, mountains and deserts that represent the geographic diversity of LA. They include such design visions as the vehicle with interchangeable, fully recyclable body coverings, another which runs on pedal power and a vehicle with algae-filled panels that transform harmful CO2 into pure oxygen.

Designers thrive on participating in the Design Challenge because it enables them to explore far-reaching, creative ideas in automotive design without any restrictions on them.

Entries in this year’s Design Challenge are:

* Acura FCX 2020 Le Mans — Acura Design Center

* Audi Dynamic Space Frame — Volkswagen/Audi Design Center California

* Honda Extreme — Honda Research & Development

* Hummer O2 — General Motors Advanced Design, California

* Kia Sandstorm — Hyundai Kia America Design Center

* Mercedes-Benz RECY — Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design of North America

* Mini BioMoke — BMW Group DesignworksUSA

* Toyota RLV — CALTY Design Research

* Volkswagen Nanospyder — Volkswagen/Audi Design Center California

The two-dimensional renderings will be judged by a panel consisting of multi-discipline design professionals who will select a winner based upon the following criteria: originality of creative concept, contribution to the environment, degree of safety and reflection of a unique, spirited Southern California “green” lifestyle.

Judging the entries this year are Bill Van Amburg of Calstart, Tom Matano of San Francisco’s Academy of Art University, Imre Molner of Detroit’s College for Creative Studies and Stewart Reed of Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design.

“The environmental theme is very appropriate in creating awareness with consumers on automotive issues that are prevalent today,” says Chuck Pelly, director of Design Los Angeles and partner in The Design Academy, Inc. “We are happy to see that the LA-area studios are using design as the tool to communicate unique and innovative approaches to this challenge.”

The upcoming Design Challenge entries will be revealed in early October when media packs and CD-ROMs featuring the vehicles are released. The winner will be announced on November 30 at the LA Auto Show.

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