2007 Detroit Auto Show EyesOn Design Awards Honor Excellence in Automotive Design

DETROIT, Jan. 9, 2007 -- The elite of the automotive design community assembled today at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) held at Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan to honor excellence in automotive design.

The event was the Second Annual EyesOn Design Awards at NAIAS 2007. Unique among automotive design awards, the EyesOn Design Awards at NAIAS 2007 are the only automotive design awards to be judged solely by designers, as well as the only awards presented to vehicles, both concept and production, introduced at NAIAS.

The EyesOn Design Awards are hosted by the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology (DIO), a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of the blind and visually impaired through education, support and research.

Tom Gale, Chief Judge for the EyesOn Design Awards, is the former head of design for Chrysler who is best known for bringing design to the forefront of the company through memorable vehicle designs such as the Viper and the Prowler.

Gale led a design jury comprised of 24 highly-respected designers with representation from directors of design for several major international vehicle manufacturers, independent designers, domestic and foreign design colleges, and retired automotive design chiefs who judged all new vehicles introduced at the NAIAS 2007.

  Among those judging were:
  * Niels Diffrient - Niels Diffrient Product Design, (Industrial Design and
    Architecture - Commercial Furniture) - Ridgefield CT
  * Charles M Jordan - Vice President of Design, General Motors (Retired)
  * Peter Stevens - Automotive Designer - UK
  * Jack Telnack - Vice President Global Design, Ford Motor Co (Retired)

A complete list of designers who participated in the vehicle judging is available by contacting Fred Bane, 248.318.2737.

Vehicles were judged in four categories that embody critical elements of vehicle design. The awards are:

The Aesthetics and Innovation Award, which focuses on the aesthetics of design; the very essence of design and the innovative way it brings out a new and significant design standard. Winner: Chrysler Nassau

The Concept Implementation Award, which centers on a concept scheme, or attribute that is crafted to bring out the true brand or product character in a new and significant way. Winner: 2008 Cadillac CTS

The Functionality Award, which focuses on how design conveys function in an efficient and useable way that enables the user to execute daily life in a proficient and constructive way. Winner: Kia Kue

Spirit of Industrial Design, Designs that blend materials, aesthetics and functional designs to suggest greater customer appreciation. Winner: Jeep Trailhawk

The award winners as well as pictures of each are available for download at the NAIAS site -- www.naias.com and access the NAIAS Digital Newsroom or go to www.wieck.com.

Distinguished American crystal designer, Steven V. Correia, with input from Gale, created the crystal sculptures that were given to each winner. They are made of the finest ocular crystal and reflect both the artistry of the automotive design process and the work of the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology.

Sponsors for the EyesOn Design Awards at NAIAS 2007 include Dassault Systemes for the Aesthetics & Innovation Award, and SAE World Congress for the Functionality Award. Additional event sponsors include College for Creative Studies, Dow Automotive, KPMG and RTT USA.

About the EyesOn Design Awards at NAIAS 2007

The EyesOn Design Awards at NAIAS 2007 are hosted by the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology (DIO) and are an extension of the celebration of automotive design that occurs each June when the DIO hosts the annual EyesOn Design car show, which honors the past, present and future of automotive design. In addition to being recognized as major design achievement events in the automotive design community, both EyesOn Design events raise funds to provide educational programs, and to support leading-edge research and other programs to enhance the lives of the blind and visually impaired.

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