February 13, 2004


Students from British design school win big in World Design Competition

Toronto, Ontario – Britain’s School of Art & Design at Coventry University in England was the big winner in the third annual World Automotive Design Competition hosted by the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto. Students from the school garnered four of the eight prizes.

Students from twenty distinguished design schools from China, Brazil, Japan, France, Korea, England, Wales, Italy, Spain, India, Sweden, the USA and Canada competed to win over US$140,000 in prizes.

Coventry won in four of the eight categories as follows: Leon Comben, a 3rd year Transportation Design student won the overall grand prize of US$10,000 for his innovative portrayal of what a Land Rover would look like in the year 2015; Blake Cotterrill, also a 3rd year student in the same faculty, won the Ballard Powers System’s Best Application of Technology award for his 2015 rendition of a red London double-decker bus; while Coventry University itself won the prestigious “Best Design School” award, sponsored by IBM, over 19 other schools from around the globe.

Organizers remarked that this is the third year in a row that Coventry University has won a World Automotive Design Competition Award. Their students previously won second place in 2003 (Per Magnus Skold) and in 2002 (Bob Graham Dolton).

Both students as well as Coventry Senior Lecturers Tim Ball and Neil Birtley were on hand to personally receive the awards from the competition judges. Professor Birtley exclaimed, “Fantastic! We’ve been second two times in a row and now we’ve pulled it off”. His colleague, Tim Ball, added: “We are absolutely delighted that the efforts and expertise of our students and our teaching staff have been recognised on an international stage by this prestigious array of awards.”

Coventry’s School of Art & Design had originally received over 30 entries from their Transportation Design Students. Professors Ball and Birtley then decided to hold an internal competition, from which they selected the maximum of 5 entries that went on to actually enter the World Automotive Design Competition sponsored by Alias.

The British Consul General, Geoffrey Berg, was on hand to personally acknowledge Coventry’s success in the competition.

The second grand prize winner was again Blake Cotterill from Coventry School of Art and Design and the third grand prize winner was Won-Kyu Kang from Art Centre College of Design in Pasadena, USA.

Ninety-four of the world’s future leaders in automotive design submitted sixty-six entries, representing twenty internationally recognized transportation design schools. Either individual students or teams were asked to take a popular vehicle that has been manufactured and well-loved in their own country and project it to the year 2015.

Their 2015 design needed to predict the needs of the local market, and, at the same time, reflect emerging propulsion and manufacturing technologies of the country where the students’ live or study.

The students’ innovative solutions to this year’s challenge, were judged by some of the world’s foremost authorities on automotive design, representing an impressive array of critics, historians, academics, design media, and past and present active production and concept car designers.

The judging panel included, in alphabetical order:

  • Robert Cumberford (Automobile and Auto & Design magazines)

  • Paul Deutschman (Canadian independent designer of the Callaway car series and Porsche Spexter)
  • Akira Fujimoto (Chief Editor, Car Styling magazine)
  • Ken Gross (Automotive Industries and The Robb Report magazines; Chief Class Judge Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance)
  • Peter Horbury (North American Head of Design, Ford Motor Company)
  • Tom Matano (Director, Industrial Design Department, Academy of Art College, San Francisco, and former VP – Design, Mazda Motor Corporation)

The twenty design schools were, in alphabetical order: Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, USA), College for Creative Studies (Detroit, USA), Coventry School of Art and Design (Coventry, Great Britain), Créapole (Paris, France), Funda

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