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Future Designers Present - Ohm - The Ultimate Concept Car For the 21st Century

10 January 2000

Future 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
    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.
    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.