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CCS to Make a Big Splash with Tekqua Concept Design At the '98 North American International Auto Show

5 January 1998

CCS to Make a Big Splash with Tekqua Concept Design At the '98 North American International Auto Show

    DETROIT, Jan. 5 -- Tekqua, the Center for Creative Studies'
(CCS) concept vehicle designed with an aquatic theme, is staged today at the
'98 North American International Auto Show to whet enthusiasts' appetites with
a taste of tomorrow's automotive designs.
    In collaboration with top automotive suppliers, students designed a
vehicle that combines advanced technology, the best in color and trim and
product design, and a 21st century perspective of a youthful lifestyle --
extreme aquatic sports.  The name, Tekqua, reflects the unique blend of
technology and aquatic themes throughout the vehicle.
    "CCS students and participating suppliers are exhibiting a vehicle that
shows how to use materials in a more adventurous way," said Carl Olsen, CCS's
Transportation Design section chair.  Students gained first-hand design
experience on what is probably the most ambitious automotive design project
ever undertaken at the school.
    The base vehicle, a Dodge Dakota extended-cab pick up truck, succumbed to
dramatic redesigns to create the look and appeal of an exciting street rod.
ASC Incorporated, responsible for taking the students' designs to fabrication,
removed the cab roof allowing complete exposure of the vehicle's interior and
lowered the front end by three inches and the rear by five inches to create a
road-hugging look.  But that was just part of ASC's task in converting the
    Lear Corporation provided seating made of Neoprene wet suit fabric, using
a design created by the students under the direction of Mollie Fletcher, CCS
instructor for the Fiber Design Program, Crafts Department.  "The students
decided on wet suit material right away because the vehicle has no roof," said
Fletcher.  "Brightly colored Neoprene waterproofs the interior for extreme
water sport enthusiasts by day and provides a progressive look for an urban
night crowd."
    Neoprene is also woven into floor pads to replace conventional auto floor
mats.  Seat foams and frames are redesigned to complement the water and
technology motif, and seating restraints have been specially integrated.
    Water graphics provided by 3M create the illusion of a rippling pool of
water under bright sunlight.  Applied to the lower body panels, the graphics
give the appearance that the vehicle is sitting in shallow water.  The same
graphics are applied to the tonneau cover, an industry first, and the design
is carried into the interior fabrics, splashing onto the rear and front seats.
    The high-tech water theme is played out in the vehicle's purple tires.
Michelin(R) handcrafted the 18-inch tires, creating the first colored tires
exhibited in the United States.  The tread pattern, designed by a CCS student
and fabricated by Michelin, is hand cut to resemble water drops and spray as
though the vehicle has just emerged from a tramp through a stream or along the
ocean.  Budnik aluminum wheels with a wave design, special-made for Tekqua,
further enhance the theme.
    Tekqua will navigate the 21st century using Carin, a state-of-the-art
onboard vehicle navigation system provided by Philips Car Systems.  CCS's
Product Design students, with assistance from Clyde Foles, CCS's Product
Design Section Chair, incorporated Carin into a unique navigation control
station equipped for the amateur road rally navigator.  The passenger side
dash is converted to accommodate a flip-open compartment that includes Carin's
navigation monitor and remote control, a chronograph clock, calculator and pen
set to provide everything the diehard rally-minded Tekqua owner would need for
a weekend adventure.  All while enjoying favorite tunes emanating from the
Philips Car Systems audio system installed in the head rests and doors.
    High-tech racing mirrors and front and side racing-style glass, a
redesigned front grill, special head and tail lamps, a rear spoiler, Borla
stainless steel exhaust system and a sleek PPG paint finish, all add to
Tekqua's futuristic appeal.
    The Tekqua design concept vehicle is the brainchild of a CCS
inter-disciplinary class, whose assignment was to create, in a competitive
class environment, innovative automotive applications based on the students'
perceptions of future market demand.  Mark Trostle, vice president and general
manager of Aeromotive Services Corp., Division of ASC, and leader of ASC's
Tekqua design consultant and fabrication team, said that projects like Tekqua
help ASC to stay on the leading edge of design.  "We recognize that our
business is very much influenced by design.  In the specialty vehicle market,
there is a lot of emotion attached to the buying decision.  The Tekqua project
not only helps us support and develop future designers, but it also keeps us
on the leading edge of what young people of today are thinking about products
of the future."
    Design school projects such as CCS's Tekqua concept vehicle bring
significant technical benefit to the automotive industry suppliers who
participate.  Jaron Rothkop, design manager, Visual Engineering at Lear
Corporation said, "Automakers, and particularly the Big Three, are asking
suppliers to take on more and more of the design responsibility.  Doing an
exercise like this with CCS shows the industry that these sponsors have the
ability to be the aggressive designers and fabricators that manufacturers need
in the 21st century."
    Commenting on the success of the project, Olsen said, "All the suppliers,
and particularly ASC, Lear Corporation, 3M and Michelin, volunteered to do far
more than the sum of our initial requests.  It was their enthusiasm that
enabled us to make this project as ambitious as it is."
    Students responsible for the concepts and design of Tekqua are: LaShirl
Alexander of Southfield, Mich., Adam Barry of Marlton, N.J., Andre Hudson of
Aurora, Colo., Judy Kim of Little Neck, N.Y., Sang Koh of Detroit, Lilana
Nikprelevic of Warren, Mich., Changhui Park of Ann Arbor, Mich., Mollie
Rattner of Franklin, Mich., Reinier Soliven and Herbert Sparks of Troy, Mich.,
Matt Tandrup of Howell, Mich., and Robert Walker of Farmington Hills, Mich.
    The Center for Creative Studies-College of Art and Design, located in the
University Cultural Center of Detroit, is one of the nation's premier visual
arts schools, with a world-renowned transportation design program.  Currently,
CCS places more designers into the automotive industry than any other school
of design.  Auto manufacturers from all over the world come to CCS to recruit
talent and sponsor class projects.  CCS students' project work is regularly
published internationally.
    Tekqua is one of several student projects that can be seen at the Center
for Creative Studies exhibit located at the Level 1 South Mezzanine of the
1998 North American International Auto Show.

    CCS thanks the following industry leaders who provided extraordinarily
generous support:

    Lead Sponsors and Fabricators
     ASC Incorporated
     Lear Corporation

    Lead Sponsors
     Philips Car Systems
    Supporting Sponsors
     Astro Cap
     BGS Model & Molds, Inc.
     Borla Exhaust Systems
     Helmstech Corp.
     Keystone Restyling
     Metalcrafters, Inc.
     Stylin' Concepts

SOURCE  Center for Creative Studies