Since the success of the Scion xB in North America, many people have been waiting for the vehicle that originated the boxy craze, the Nissan Cube, to hit this continent. Fueling more rumors have been recent spy shots of the vehicle at Pratt Institute in New York that surfaced on Jalopnik. The shots go hand in hand with Nissan's announcement that four design school modified Cube's will be on display at the 2008 New York International Auto Show in April. Nissan has given two Cubes each to the Brooks Institute film school in Santa Barbara, CA and Pratt Institute, School of Art and Design in New York City. The film students have been given the assignment of creating a short video intended to capture the toaster-like vehicle's essence. The design students are to do what they do best, modify the interior and exterior elements to meet their own visions. While the whole artsy marketing ploy has been done by Scion, their efforts were much more urban street custom while Nissan's aim seems to be a scholastic and structured image.

The official press release after the jump.

[Source: Nissan]

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PRESS RELEASE

NISSAN CUBE COLLABORATION INVITES FILM AND DESIGN STUDENTS TO THINK "OUTSIDE OF THE CUBE"

Las Vegas, NV -- October 30, 2007 -- Nissan North America (NNA) today announced a unique partnership with two film and design schools to showcase the Nissan Cube, a product sold in Japan, in the American market in a very distinctive way. The collaboration will task students to create provocative films and designs by integrating the Cube's inspirational and stylish design. The Brooks Institute film school in Santa Barbara, CA and Pratt Institute, School of Art and Design in New York City will participate in the Cube project, Cube-ism: Automobile Meets Art.

"When first launched in Japan, the Nissan Cube was the 'must-have' car for the uber-fashionable and trendy consumers," says Bruce Campbell, vice president, Design, Nissan Design America. "It quickly skyrocketed to become an icon in Japan, and - as Nissan continues to think big about small products - this project helps us understand how we can translate that success to other markets like North America."

Each school will receive two Nissan Cubes and participants from each school will be asked to interpret and communicate the essence of the vehicle. Both the Film and Design students will be asked to present concept direction presentations at the outset of the project for Nissan review and will meet with Nissan for periodic updates. The film students will be tasked with creating a short film, between 5-10 minutes long, that highlights the essence of the Nissan Cube. The design students are challenged with enhancing the Cube through changes in exterior colors, graphics, seat materials and wheel treatments. Projects will also include an eco-friendly element. Final works will be featured at the 2008 New York International Auto Show in April.