Andrew Smith, executive director of Buick global design, talks to students at the College for Creative Studies about their designs of a Buick concept for the year 2030.

When you think of daring concept cars or emotional design-student projects, Buick probably isn't the first brand that comes to mind. It's not for lack of concepts; when General Motors ran down 11 concept-car highlights from Buick's 110-year history, three of them are from the past 15 years, with other experiments in that same timeframe like the Black Hawk, Centieme and Cielo left unmentioned.

But the company still thinks about them even if we don't. It ran a contest for students at Detroit's College for Creative Studies to create a Buick for the year 2030 that would incorporate future materials and transportation needs, and nanotechnology.

Best exterior design went to Sam Kenny for his Neo Classical Buick, Justin Salmon took honors for innovative material use, like having exposed algae on the bodyshell to generate energy, and Namsuk Lee nabbed best overall concept and best interior for his Buick Vision Sedan. You can read more about the design challenge and winners in the press release, and hear students talk about what went into the work in the video below.


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Driving Ambition: Aspiring Designers Sculpt Buicks of 2030
Young designers model their vision of the brand's look over 15 years from now


DETROIT, 2014-05-29 – Buick is continuing to build on its more than 110 years of innovation and design by encouraging young and aspiring designers to challenge the boundaries of convention in automotive design.

Buick partnered with BASF to sponsor a competition for students at Detroit's College for Creative Studies, who were given a blank canvas to shape their vision of what Buicks will look like in 2030.

More than a dozen next-generation transportation designers answered the call to compete and consult with industry professionals. Exploring their own outside-the-box ideas and new concepts in personal transportation, students brought their visions to life in 3D with scale model Buicks.

"The solutions these concepts offer are as unique as the future car designers at CCS who created them," said Andrew Smith, executive director of Buick global design. "For Buick, this project is an invitation for new insights and interpretation of our brand and the future portfolio of products we will offer."

The competition guidelines addressed future transportation needs – the dramatic rise in urban populations, developing countries, nanotechnology and the role advanced materials will play in vehicle efficiency.

A professional jury of Buick designers from the exterior, interior, and color and trim studios, along with BASF coatings and performance materials experts, selected four concepts for special recognition and $7,000 in awards:

- Namsuk Lee, 28, from Seoul, Korea with two awards - $3,000 for best overall concept and $1,500 for best interior
- Sam Kenny, 22 of Greensboro, N.C. - $1,500 for best exterior design
- Justin Salmon, 19 of Boca Raton, Fla. - $1,000 for most innovative use of materials.

The panel commended Lee for his lightweight exterior form language, exceptional interpretation and integration of the Buick design cues and inviting interior execution. Kenny's concept impressed the Buick designers, who praised its "dynamic elegance" and clever use of structural design elements to create innovative and efficient proportions and body surfacing. Salmon won over the BASF jurors with his integration of materials and technology, including exposed use of algae in the vehicle structure to generate energy.

Other notable designs included the proportions and form language of the urban coupe by JinYoung Yoon and the dynamic concept from Soohan Cho. The latter was cited for its expressive use of materials and colors to appeal to a young generation of Buick customers.

The Buick-BASF program is unique in that it allows young designers the same access to future trend research and data used by industry professionals. Students showcase their overall design talent through sketching and modeling, along with critical thinking and presentation skills.

Mentors from both companies provided information and access to advanced materials, along with a visit to develop exterior paint at BASF's automotive refinish facility in Whitehouse, Ohio.

"Professional car design is a very competitive business and your work is always measured against your peers and by the market success it generates," Smith said. "Buick design that conveys youthful energy and fresh thinking is essential to the future of this modern, international luxury brand."

About Buick
Buick is an international modern luxury brand offering vehicles with sculpted designs, luxurious interiors and thoughtful personal technologies, along with responsive-yet-efficient performance. Buick is attracting new customers with its portfolio of award-winning luxury models in North America and China. Learn more about Buick cars and crossovers at www.buick.com, on Twitter @buick, on Pinterest or at www.facebook.com/buick

About BASF
BASF is the world's leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Through science and innovation, we enable our customers in nearly every industry to meet the current and future needs of society. Our products and solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring nutrition and improving quality of life. We have summed up this contribution in our corporate purpose: We create chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF had sales of about €74 billion in 2013 and over 112,000 employees as of the end of the year. Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com.

About the College for Creative Studies (CCS)
Located in the heart of Detroit, the College for Creative Studies (CCS) educates artists and designers to be leaders in creative professions. A private, fully accredited college, CCS enrolls more than 1,400 students pursuing Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees. Students in the BFA program can major in Advertising: Copywriting, Advertising Design, Crafts, Entertainment Arts, Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interior Design, Photography, Product Design and Transportation Design, in addition to a dual major Art Education program. Students in the MFA program can major in Color and Materials Design, Interaction Design, Interdisciplinary Design and Transportation Design. The College also offers non-credit courses in the visual arts through its Precollege and Continuing Studies programs and opportunities for youth through its Community Arts Partnerships programs.