Detroit 2008: Michelin Challenge Design winners

Click image for high res gallery of the competitors.

Michelin hosts its annual Michelin Challenge Design (design challenge?) to help young designers and their hot designs get some recognition. The emphasis is on innovative thinking, both on the technical and style side. While the challenge doesn't have any direct link to tires, per se, Michelin uses the forum to help push the boundaries throughout the automotive field and get people thinking outside the box. The NAIAS contest focuses on making "smaller vehicles safer particularly in urban environments." One can make the argument that producing smaller, more efficient cars has a direct impact on tire design and tread wear, but we hardly care about Michelin's motivation here and just enjoy looking at futuristic concepts. This year's entries ranged from the practically plausible to way-out-there wild as you'll see in our gallery below.

The full press release and the winners in each of the two categories Michelin recognized are posted after the jump.

[Source: Michelin]

Michelin – CCS Winners for Vehicle Design
1st – Matt Green, age 24, Doylestown, PA
2nd – Mahdi Chowdhury, age 21, Fayetteville, NC
3rd – Tyler Mars, age 22, Chili, NY

Michelin – CCS Winners for Tire and Wheel Concept
1st – Matt Green, age 24, Doylestown, PA
2nd – Tyler Mars, age 22, Chili, NY
3rd – Jonathan Kyte, age 33, Youngstown, OH

Michelin – CCS Winners for Renderings
1st – Terry Chun Wong, Canada
2nd – Arturo Michel Lopez, Mexico
3rd – Matt Green, age 24, Doylestown, PA

Press Release

About The Michelin Challenge Design

Michelin North America, Inc. ("Michelin") created the annual Michelin Challenge Design™ to celebrate, promote, publicize and give visibility to original creative thinking and innovation in vehicle design.

By embracing and supporting design, Michelin aims to establish a closer relationship with the design community, combining technical innovation with transportation design to create vehicles that consumers want to buy and will enjoy driving.

Michelin Challenge Design is a collection of events and activities reflecting Michelin North America's interest in and commitment to innovative design. Michelin's corporate culture places a high value on design and innovation as important to consumer satisfaction and maintaining Michelin's role as the industry leader.

Utilizing our position as a leading member of the automotive industry and our unique position as a non-OEM exhibitor at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), Michelin offers a challenge to designers around the world, individuals and small and large companies, to enthusiastically create, bring forward and display, significant design work that would normally not have an opportunity to be shown at a major auto show.
The Michelin Challenge Design in January 2008 at the NAIAS will display vehicles and vehicle design concepts with attributes that make smaller vehicles safer particularly in urban environments.

Rising energy costs, urban congestion and environmental concerns are all contributing to increased interest in smaller vehicles, but consumers are often hesitant to consider smaller vehicles due to real and perceived safety concerns. Safety is often used as a justification or rationale for larger vehicles as drivers feel less vulnerable in a larger vehicle.

Part of the challenge will be to recognize those concerns and through design concepts, provide an enhanced "feeling" of security in smaller vehicles.

Enhanced safety through design innovations in areas such as accident avoidance, enhanced driver controls, survivability and visibility will be considered. Designers will be encouraged to "throw away the book" and to consider designs that present innovative approaches to vehicle ingress and egress, side impact protection, occupant protection volume, seating arrangement, vehicle dimensions and proportions.

Beyond core design attributes of the vehicle, what features or design elements will enhance safety by interacting with other vehicles and the overall road environment? How could design concepts for small vehicles inform or influence developments of streets, highways and the urban parking environment?


Transportation Design 2017: Smaller. Safer. Better.

DETROIT, MI (Nov. 30, 2007) – Michelin announced the winning entries of the 19th Annual Michelin Design Competition for the College for Creative Studies (CCS) and presented $22,000 in scholarship monies at a reception held at Detroit's historic Scarab Club Nov. 29, 2007. Four CCS transportation students received a total of six awards along with an invitation to display their winning designs in a special Michelin exhibit at the 2008 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) Jan. 13-27, 2008.

Twelve senior-level students entered this year's challenge, each creating a vehicle design and a tire/wheel assembly they could envision driving in 2017 using the theme, "Smaller. Safer. Better." The winning CCS students' work will join 29 other designs representing 20 different countries selected in the global Michelin Challenge Design competition ( at the prestigious auto show.

"The Michelin family and our business have celebrated ideas, vision, and innovation for 120 years," said Damien Michelin. "Today we join the CCS faculty and our judging panel to celebrate the work, ideas and vision demonstrated by the CCS Class of 2008 and support their decision to pursue a career in transportation and industrial design."

Judges for the this year's event included Brandon Faurote from Chrysler Design and Ehab Kaoud, Aram Kasparian and Andy Fulford from the design studios at Ford along with Michelin North America's Damien Michelin and Jim Anderson.

Michelin presented the first-place winners with $1,250 scholarships. Second-place winners received $1,000 scholarships, and third-place winners earned $750 scholarships. The tire company also made a $22,000 donation to the school's Carl Olsen Scholarship fund that provides financial aid to CCS students based on need and merit.

Michelin – CCS Winners for Vehicle Design
1st – Matt Green, age 24, Doylestown, PA
2nd – Mahdi Chowdhury, age 21, Fayetteville, NC
3rd – Tyler Mars, age 22, Chili, NY

Michelin – CCS Winners for Tire and Wheel Concept
1st – Matt Green
2nd – Tyler Mars
3rd – Jonathan Kyte, age 33, Youngstown, OH

MCD was launched in 2001 as a way to showcase creativity and innovation in vehicle design on a global scale around a central theme. Each year, Michelin invites designers around the world, from individuals to small and large companies, to create and display significant design work that would normally not have an opportunity to be shown at a major auto show.

About Michelin
Dedicated to the improvement of sustainable mobility, Michelin designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty trucks, motorcycles and the space shuttle. The company also publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America ( employs more than 22,500 and operates 19 major manufacturing plants in 17 locations.

Share This Photo X