Ferrari has been crowd-sourcing design ideas and talent since at least 2005 — with many of the ideas for the eventual LaFerrari sharing at least something with the design-student scale models and renders. This was after Ferrari pulled the marquee hypercar design contract back in-house from Pininfarina.
‘Crowd-sourcing’ is not really a fair description of this Design Challenge effort, though. Why? These entries are not ‘loser-generated-content’ from the public — but near-finished and highly thought-through prototypes. So more of a creative shootout than simply hive-mind idea cultivation.
For the 2015 contest, Ferrari switched the script in a few ways. Ferrari in 2012 and 2005 chose a specific top-flight design graduate school, tasking its students with the project and tracking/guiding them along the way.
First 2015 change? More than 40 schools were eligible for the finalist group of 12 — from which the winner will be selected. And is likely to earn that model’s design team an internship in Maranello at the very least.
A new second prize joins the contest this year as well: the popular vote! Using a facebook-based voting platform, the public at large (aka: all of us) can vote on their favorite, see the results in real-time, and even campaign their social networks for additional votes.
Four schools made the final cut, and surprisingly, the strongest three-pack of entries appears to come from the College of Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan.
Even among those that are less pleasing than the very sexy and intriguing ‘Intervallo’ design, there is a clear global convergence of style trends to glean. Among early voting,
- a complex inteplay between painted shell surfaces and black or grey inner elements, hidden from the eye to some extent.
- Another trend is the removal of bodywork overall. Where subframes and suspensions and intercoolers have traditionally been hidden from view, the future look is to put these in full view of air and eyes. The idea is functional benefit, but the design theme is mostly style-defined. It shows how hard designers jobs will become when every line of bodywork has to justify itself from an aero and heat-dissipation perspective.
- Deconstruction of the bodywork is almost fully present on all 12 designs’ tail ends — with open scoops and wings dominating the style of even the solid-nosed concepts like the Manifesto, ViventeRossa and Dualita.
The top three vote-getters so far are the F247, Intervallo and De Esfera.
VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE HERE
Ferrari Top Design Challenge 2015 – Vote Your Pick of Future Hypercar Style!
The Top Design School Challenge enters its final phase
Maranello, 4 December 2015 – What seemed like the wildest science fiction in the days of Jules Verne has been more than surpassed by modern invention. Maybe in a quarter of a century’s time, we’ll be saying the same about a slew of present-day projects that endeavour to envisage the Ferraris of the future.
We are talking, of course, about the 12 models to have reached the finals of the Ferrari Top Design School Challenge. Also run in 2005 and 2012, this is the third outing for a competition in which the world’s most prestigious design institutes vie for supremacy. Around 50 schools were considered in the first round and this number was then whittled to eight before four third-level institutes (spread across three continents) were selected as finalists. They are: the Hochschule Pforzheim (Germany), which has a hugely successful automotive design course and is one of Europe’s leading schools; the College for Creative Studies in Detroit (US) which attracts students from all over the world because of the incredibly high standard of its facilities and teaching staff; the Asia-Pacific region’s top design school, Hongik University in Seoul (Korea), which had the largest number of entrants in the competition and also won the 2011 Ferrari World Design Contest; and, lastly, the ISD-Rubika in Valenciennes (France) which has a cutting-edge computer modelling course that embraces structured interdisciplinary projects.
The students began working on their Ferraris of the future in October 2014 and a year later, the 12 finalist models, three from each school, arrived in Maranello. This marked the start of the trickiest phase in the competition: choosing the winner! Or rather the two winners as there are two prizes. The overall “Gran Premio” is awarded by a jury made up of Ferrari exponents in the broadest sense of the term – designers, engineers, drivers and even famous collectors. The “Premio Speciale”, on the other hand, is awarded by open online vote cast on the official Ferrari Facebook page where finalists’ work can be viewed.
The jury very shortly knuckles down to the difficult task of making the final decision about the overall winner and will officially announce its choice on January 15 2016. So, the very best of luck to Nicola Boari, Franco Cimatti, Aldo Colonnetti, Rodolfo Gaffino Rossi, Jay Kay, Flavio Manzoni, Nick Mason, Andrea Militello, Marc Newson (TBC), Paolo Pininfarina and Sebastian Vettel as they embark on this home stretch in this long process.