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Design winners as radical as ever

Winners are grinners: Adam Wong (left) and Patrick Sohn (below) both took home top honours in the 2015 Automotive Design Awards in the secondary and tertiary sections respectively.

Students’ concepts tackle big issues CO2 pollution, congestion on Aussie streets


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3 Apr 2015

THE winning entry in the tertiary student section of the 2015 Automotive Design Awards is an ambitious proposal that tackles carbon dioxide pollution, traffic congestion and human fitness, all at once.

Monash University student Patrick Sohn took out the top award in the competition promoted by the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) and supported by the three local car-makers – Ford, Holden and Toyota – and major equipment supplier Wacom.

The top three entrants in both the tertiary and secondary sections of the competition received their awards and cheques at the Australian Motoring Festival in Melbourne last week.

The tertiary winners received $4000, $2000 and $1000 and their schools received equivalent amounts.

The secondary winners received $2000, $1000 and $500 each and their schools won an equivalent amount. The three secondary winners also received a Wacom Intuos Pro pen and touch tablet.

Mr Sohn’s win was a reward for the determination he has shown to pursue his design ambitions.

“I have been drawing cars since my primary school days,” he told GoAuto after receiving his award.

“I only decided in year eight it was the path I wanted to take and I was living in Sydney.

“So I came down to Melbourne to go to Monash University’s industrial design course. The family is very supportive, but I am down here alone,” he said.

His winning entry, the Specialized S-Works Nido is a one-person, electric-powered commuter pod that carries an electric bike so the commuter can engage in Mr Sohn’s Final 5 concept.

This involves driving the electric vehicle to a free parking bay five kilometres from the central business district.

“So you take the final five kilometres on your bike, or you jog or you walk it.”

The vehicle has solar cells on the roof so, during the day, it can feed electricity into the grid, for which the commuter receives a credit on their domestic electricity bill.

“That means the free car-park is actually a solar farm during the day.”

The winning secondary student, Adam Wong from Scotch College, tackled the problem that has bedevilled dreamers for decades – the flying car.

“I haven’t figured out the levitation yet, something to do with magnets, but I’m not sure,” he said with a grin.

“I got this idea from a fighter jet, so the windscreen looks like a canopy.” Mr Wong has been drawing cars since grade one in primary school but has more recently been attracted to film and media.

“So, design is involved in both areas. Then, we I heard about the Automotive Design Awards, I was happy to get involved.”

Mr Wong said it has taken a big commitment, however.

“Overall it was a lot of fun. It took a lot of time and I struggled with the other subjects. Those went down a bit but, overall, I am happy.

“I finally finished, and it has all paid off.”

Second place in the tertiary section went to Kyle Armstrong from RMIT University and third place went to Taylor Zhou from Monash University.

Second place in the secondary section went to another Scotch College student, Ken Smith, and third place went to Elizabeth Grant-Brown, from Northcote High School.

The awards were started 10 years ago and many of the winners have found jobs with the three local design studios at GM Holden, Ford and Toyota. All three manufacturers actively support the awards competition.

The three local manufacturers presented design demonstrations during the Australian Motoring Festival and the chief designers from the companies were there at various times to talk to prospective students about the possibilities of a career in design.

The judging panel for the awards was chaired by Paul Beranger, formerly of Toyota Australia, Richard Ferlazzo, design director at GM Holden, Nic Hogios, corporate manager product design at Toyota Australia and Todd Willing, design director Asia-Pacific, Ford Motor Company.

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