From Concept to Clay - Students Idealize Next-Gen Buick Cars

Eighteen junior-level students from the College of Creative Studies (CCS) were put to the test this winter semester and assigned a final project that involved designing a 2030 Buick concept vehicle using specified supplier materials from BASF.

Learn more about their design visions and how they worked together with Buick and BASF here:

By partnering, BASF, Buick and CCS guided students as they conceptualized their designs into 3D clay models. The process encompassed 15 weeks and included future trend research, sketching and modeling. The culmination involved a final presentation in front of a jury of BASF coatings and performance materials experts and Buick designers.

The students consulted with BASF experts about what kind of advanced materials they should incorporate in the design to, which included a visit to BASF facilities in Whitehouse, Ohio to develop their own variations of exterior paint.

Technical guidance and mentorship was provided by a panel of Buick's exterior, interior and color and trim designers.

All students' final projects showcased exceptional design talent and addressed transportation needs for the next generation of car buyers, including key issues like lightweighting, fuel economy and connectivity. The following students were recognized and awarded for their standout work in the four pre-designated categories:

  • Best interior design - Namsuk Lee
  • Best exterior design - Sam Kenny
  • Best innovation use of materials - Justin Salmon
  • Best overall concept - Namsuk Lee, earning $4,500 in total

Justin Salmon, 19, from Boca Raton, FL, received $1000 from BASF jurors with his integration of materials and technology, including exposed use of algae in the vehicle structure to generate energy. Justin Salmon, 19, from Boca Raton, FL, received $1,000 from BASF jurors with his integration of materials and technology, including exposed use of algae in the vehicle structure to generate energy.

Also, the judging panel of Buick designers identified six projects to present to General Motor's executive design team alongside each student. The opportunity may bring to life these students' clay models in 2030.

Take note: some of these design concepts may very well be on the road in the near future.