Volkswagen’s Student Designs

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Volkswagen’s Student Designs

  • Designers at Volkswagen Group of America’s Innovation and Engineering Center California (IECC), in collaboration with Volkswagen Group Innovation, concluded program with Academy of Art’s School of Industrial Design
  • Student design project explored future mobility concepts for long-distance traveling
  • Volkswagen Group of America donated scholarship fund for best showcases

Herndon, VA, Belmont and San Francisco, CA — Volkswagen Group of America’s (VWGoA) major West Coast innovation hub, the Innovation and Engineering Center California (IECC), recently concluded its first-ever “Long Distance Mobility and Living Space” project, an Academy of Art University class aimed at collaborating with innovative firms to deliver immersive, hands-on professional experiences for its students. Working with 30 students from the Academy’s School of Industrial Design, Interior Architecture Design, Graphic Design, Fashion, Advertising, and Web New Media, the project explored future mobility concepts for long-distance travelers that culminated in five individual students receiving part of a scholarship fund donated by Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.

For the IECC, which serves as Volkswagen Group of America’s dedicated center for researching innovations in mobility, applied artificial intelligence and autonomous systems, the collaboration with the Academy offered fresh insight into the future of transportation. The global Volkswagen Group Innovation collaborated as well.

“We’re fortunate to be able to work with Academy of Art University and their talented students from all over the world,” said Alexander Ksoll, senior staff designer at Volkswagen Group of America. “Mobility is multifaceted, and requires a more dimensional approach to its design. This project gave us exciting perspectives and showed outstanding achievements in a fully virtual classroom setting.”

For the project, 30 students from different disciplines at the Academy, were split into five teams to holistically design a seamless mobility experience inspired by the vast American landscape.

“This was a tremendous opportunity for our students to learn from – and alongside – industry experts at Volkswagen Group of America who are paving the way for technology and mobility,” said Antonio Borja, director, School of Industrial Design, Tom Collom, capstone coordinator, School of Interior Architecture Design, and Claudia Dallendoerfer, instructor for New Web Media, at Academy of Art University.

“Electrification and autonomous vehicles are without a doubt the future and will only continue to grow, which created a perfect use case for us to come together and create an integrated vision.”

The following teams and concepts were presented and reviewed by a special guest panel comprised of representatives from different industries:

  • Kinship: Global team across disciplines with an overarching vision for the project, developing voice, brand strategy, website, and graphic layout for all design concepts.
  • Orbis: Designed with purpose for business travelers, looking to achieve a holistic work-life balance. The vehicle travel experience was reinterpreted to help passengers decompress and eliminate post-arrival fatigue.
  • Outreach: A lifestyle approach to road travel for the modern nomad looking for a vehicle as adaptable as themselves. This concept blurred the lines between vehicle and home, so passengers can roam where their heart desires.
  • Urban Cowboy: This project reflects the team’s passion for adventure and admiration for cowboy culture to demonstrate sustainable long-distance travel at its best.
  • X Hubs: Flipping the notion of forgotten, stale rest areas on its head, this concept offered an eco-conscious and family-friendly safe stop for road trippers to recharge and connect along their journeys.

Parallel to the panel, Volkswagen Group of America Inc. also named five individual students, each from one individual major across all teams, to receive part of a scholarship fund donated by the company.

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