Winners of Royal College of Art / FIAT ‘Two of a Kind' Design Challenge Announced

Friday, December 13, 2013

  • European development of the 'Fiat Likes U' project, on Wednesday, 11 December, saw the conclusion of the initiative developed jointly with the prestigious 'Royal College of Art', London
  • Following 14 outstanding presentations where the RCA Vehicle Design Masters' students shared their vision for the Fiat Panda and Fiat 500 of the future, 10 students were awarded for their exceptional work
  • The 10 winning students will travel to Turin and paid on-the-job training with scholarships
  • Given the great demand from students, the free car sharing service with the Fiat Panda and Fiat 500 model will continue in the new year

Wednesday, 11 December, at the 'Royal College of Art', London - the first European university involved in the second edition of 'Fiat Likes U' - was the final day of 'Fiat Two of a Kind', the training experience that, between October and December 2013, saw 51 students of the prestigious institution compete in imagining the possible developments of the 500 and Panda models by 2020.

Both these cars are expressions of the essence of Fiat design from two very different points of view, as the title of the project suggests: Panda is the perfect expression of the concept of 'functionality', while 500 is unquestionably unbridled 'emotion'.

The project asked aspiring designers, from all over the world and divided into interdisciplinary teams, to develop new solutions for the 500 and Panda's interiors and exteriors, which integrate innovative, immediate ideas in various areas, such as interactivity, digital interface, sustainability and global appeal. Each project also had to take the various markets into account while also respecting the stylistic features of the Fiat brand.

In total there are 10 students who have earned a stay in Turin, paid for by the company, where they can visit the Centro Stile Fiat-Chrysler and observe the creation of the clay models for four days. These will then be exhibited at the 'Royal College of Art' for the graduation ceremony in June 2014.

The ten winners will also be granted access to on-the-job training in Turin from July/September 2014 to February 2015. In addition to applying their skills and acquiring experience in the process of developing a style model, the training will permit the young students to immerse themselves in Italian culture and the values of the Fiat-Chrysler Group.

The coffee-inspired interior of the Fiat 500 'Spresso' earned Alexander Ibbett (Interior Design) and Liza Ricciardi (Materials) an award each, while Pierre Andlauer's  futuristic exterior treatment of the Fiat 500 "Cheerfully Irresponsible" proposal also caught the eye of the judges. The innovative modularity of the Panda "Hug" interior design proposal won Francesco Binaggia an award, while the exterior of the Panda Roomy , conceived as an extension of your living space ensured Ji Won Yun was Turin-bound as well. In terms if Vehicle Interaction, Adam Peacock '500 Experience' and Xinglin Sun 'Panda Vivo' were both selected as winners. Adam's virtual dashboard concept struck the right balance of futurism and realism, as did Xinglin's touch-screen controls and social connectivity. For her work on the 'Panda Flex' proposal, Gemma Waggett picked up award for her innovative use of materials while Amy Lee, who worked on the 'Anima Panda' concept, won her award for her vision of the 2020 Panda's service design. A special award was presented to Hoe Young Hwang in recognition of his exceptional work on the Fiat 500+ design proposal, which included a clay model of his 'Super Normale' exterior design.

Assessed on the basis of specific criteria - stylistic value, functionality, innovation, originality, connection, market coherence, product, users, communication and quality of the presentation - all the designs were subjected to detailed analysis on Wednesday, 11 December during the final presentation to the panel, comprising Lorenzo Ramaciotti (Head of Global Design Fiat-Chrysler), Andreas Wuppinger (EMEA Design Fiat ), Senior Designers as well as teachers and staff of the Royal College of Art.

For those who aim to play a leading role in the world of automotive design, 'Fiat Two of a Kind' was also an important educational experience, which offered students the possibility of taking part in a series of invaluable lectures held by top car design experts between October and December 2013 in the London university. The objective of the lectures was to put the excellences of an international group at the service of young students to contribute in a concrete manner to their education.

In detail, Lorenzo Ramaciotti related the way in which Italian design built up an international reputation through projects for many manufacturers on all continents, while the lecture by Roberto Giolito (Head of Design EMEA) illustrated the common thread running through Fiat's history and linking different moments and experiences.

The young students were then able to take part in the session with Marco Tencone (Head of Maserati, Lancia and Alfa Romeo Design), who provided an in-depth study of forms typical of Italian design through three characteristic concepts: sportiness-dynamism, elegance-balance and character-personality. The contributions of Peter Jansen and Andrea Mainini from the User Experience and Design Lab were also of great interest. They illustrated, through a global analysis and reinterpretation, the content of design in the past, present and future. "User Experience and Interaction Design" represents a new approach to interior design in which creative instinct and technical skills are combined scientifically with feedback from customer use experiences.

Finally, Rossella Guasco (Head of Colours and Materials) delved into the subject of materials, which are no longer decorative, but influence and determine both design and everyday life.

What's more, the students of the prestigious 'Royal College of Art', London were able to experience almost the entire range of Fiat Group vehicles as part of Fiat's innovative 'Fiat Likes U' initiative. The 'Fiat Likes U' project aims to offer a dedicated educational experience built in partnership with universities and introduce the concept of sustainable mobility with free car sharing of the Panda and 500 models, as well as offering paid on-the-job training with scholarships and the chance to work temporarily as a Fiat Ambassador. The initiative proved so successful with students at the RCA that Fiat Group Automobile UK has decided to continue the scheme in the new year to give more students the opportunity to enjoy their own unique experience. All available slots in the current 'Fiat Likes U' scheme were subscribed almost immediately with students later commenting on how beneficial the scheme was to their understanding of what defines the Fiat 500 and Fiat Panda and how their experiences helped shape the direction of their design proposals.

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