Future Designers Present - Ohm - The Ultimate Concept Car For the 21st Century
10 January 2000Future Designers Present - Ohm - The Ultimate Concept Car For the 21st Century; CCS Students Transform BMW Z3 for North American International Auto Show 2000
DETROIT, Jan. 10 -- Each year student designers from the Center for Creative Studies-College of Art and Design (CCS) dazzle onlookers at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) with their fresh and innovative concept show vehicle. This year, CCS is proud to present -- the Ohm -- a BMW Z3 roadster transformed into a jazzy and electric retreat for the nightlife driver enthusiast. Utilizing the already-stylish Z3 as a starting point, CCS students worked with a host of automotive industry leaders to create the Ohm, the latest color-and-trim class project. The exterior of the vehicle features a uniquely developed paint color designed to compliment the interior leather accents. Inside the vehicle, CCS students have created a sanctuary-like atmosphere where busy professionals can escape the frenetic pace of life in the 21st century. Such accoutrements as a digitally-enhanced sound system; leather seats and trim in a variety of unique colors and designs; and a specially- patterned, UV-illuminated floor design make the Ohm a soothing oasis for its driver and passengers. "The students have done a magnificent job of taking the Z3, an already sophisticated vehicle and adding their own creative flair," says Mollie Fletcher CCS Fiber Design instructor and color-and-trim project manager. For the past several months, CCS students have participated in a class devoted to the redesign of the Z3. They collaborated with top area automotive suppliers like ASC Incorporated and Johnson Controls Incorporated to accomplish this goal. CCS offers this color-and-trim course to give students an authentic experience in a growing design area. Under the guidance of Mollie Fletcher, students were asked to research and develop images that would drive the design of the car, and which culminated in the final look, style and tone of the car. "Before the students could begin the redesign process, they had to come up with a theme for the new vehicle. For the students, the Z3 immediately evoked thoughts of urban nightlife and a sense of being in your own peaceful haven. This vision set the direction for the redesign," said Fletcher. Students then chose the car's name to reflect the images of an electric lifestyle as well as the need for calm in an increasingly fast-paced world. Throughout the creative process, CCS students worked closely with ASC's Creative Services team, who provided design guidance and overall project management. ASC was also responsible for disassembling the Z3, coordinating the redesign components with supporting suppliers and supervising the Ohm vehicle build. "ASC has enjoyed a very long relationship with CCS, spanning over 20 years," says Mark Trostle, ASC Senior Vice President and General Manager. "ASC has been a participant in the student intern program and has hired a majority of our designers from CCS. We have worked on the NAIAS color-and-trim show vehicle with CCS for four years now and we appreciate the fresh perspective and vehicle design ideas that we get from CCS students and graduates." CCS students involved in the creation of the Ohm, are Elizabeth Brescoll of Birmingham, MI, Dalibor Dimovski of Macomb, MI, Kasha Fletcher of Auburn, NY, Karyn Hanlon of Farmington Hills, MI, Christopher Hilts of Dearborn, MI, Chiwei Lee of Midland, MI, Michael McFaddin of Madison, AL, Gypsy Rose Modina of Detroit, MI, Tadao Mori of Farmington Hills, MI, Jeremy Noonan of Warren, MI, Kevin Wayne Preuss of Houston, TX, Carrie Przybycki of Washington Twp., MI, Jeffrey Sanders of Ennis, TX, Kelly Tierney of Midland, MI, Megan Toscas of Harper Woods, MI, Anthony Wolverton of Milo, MO and Irina Zavatski of North Olmstead, OH. Participating Corporate Sponsors include: A & M Collision ASC, Inc. BMW Craft Originators, Inc. City Lights Studio Johnson Controls, Inc. Michelin Automotive Industry Division PPG Industries, Inc. Racemark International, LP Seaton Company, Leather Division Specialized Trim Systems Viper Technologies The Ohm is one of four major student projects on display at the CCS exhibit located on the main floor level (South Mezzanine) of the NAIAS. The only college with an exhibit on the NAIAS showroom floor, CCS is widely acknowledged in the world auto industry for having one of the best transportation design programs. Auto industry companies regularly sponsor projects at the college and offer internships to CCS transportation design students. Graduates routinely receive job offers from American, European and Asian automakers and suppliers. The students benefit from this interface and gain valuable experience with evolving technologies and professional briefs. Sponsors benefit in many ways from the ideas generated by creative young minds. CCS alumni have had a tremendous impact on interior and exterior car designs in the past two decades. The Center for Creative Studies-College of Art and Design is one of the nation's leading arts education institutions. A private, fully accredited, four-year college, CCS offers Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in animation and digital media, crafts, fine arts, communication design, industrial design, interior design and photography. The college also offers non-credit courses in the visual arts through its continuing and community education program. CCS is located in Detroit's Cultural Center where it provides a challenging learning environment in which students explore issues of art and design while preparing for careers in the professional world.