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CCS and Strate Students Design Vehicle Interiors for Gen Y


2006-06-23, Detroit – General Motors Design Center partnered with Transportation and Product Design students from the College for Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit Mich. and France’s Strate Collège to create vehicle interiors for Generation Y consumers for the year 2020.

A class of 18 CCS juniors worked on the interior innovation project for a full semester – roughly 15 weeks – that concluded May 2006. Students worked in groups of three; at the end of the assignment, six interior projects were designed. Three vehicle proposals for subcompact B-segment car for the Saturn and Chevrolet brands were developed, including a definition of each brand’s design direction. At CCS, each group gave a presentation to a panel of GM and CCS leadership.

In mid-January, 23 Strate Collège fourth-year transportation design and product design students, who are part of a five-year Industrial Design program, began the same General Motors interior innovation project. Teams developed interiors for the Opel and Chevrolet brands. Design student final presentations will be made to GM leadership and a car journalist jury on June 30 in France at a location outside of the school.

Design process deliverables for the interior innovation project included an analysis of interior design trends and development of a customer profile, package, and interior theme with sketches. Students also determined interior colors, materials, lighting, and created third-scale models of final designs with presentation boards.

“In the past when working with the schools, students developed exterior scale model concepts,” said Anne Asensio, Executive Director Advanced Design, who spearheaded both programs. “This project was entirely focused on interiors, and we wanted to compare and contrast student’s work from two different cultures to gain a greater understanding of how they approach the same assignment with similar brands. From start-to-finish, we are very pleased with the students’ final solutions featuring the Saturn, Opel and Chevrolet brands.”

Program mentors from General Motors include Executive Director Anne Asensio; Wade Bryant, advanced interior design manager; and Raphael Zammit, creative designer from the Global Brand studio. Bryon Fitzpatrick, CCS transportation design chair, and Philip Nemeth, head of transportation design at Strate Collège were charged with the oversight of the interior innovation project.

“GM is pleased to partner with design schools like CCS and Strate Collège to provide students with meaningful projects that enhance their creativity and help prepare them for careers in automotive design. It’s also exciting to see how students’ approach and interpret a brand’s design direction,” said Asensio. “We look forward to more interior and exterior project partnerships with these design schools as we continue to look for design abilities both in interiors and exteriors.”

General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world’s largest automaker, has been the global industry sales leader for 75 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 327,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 33 countries. In 2005, 9.17 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn and Vauxhall. GM operates one of the world’s leading finance companies, GMAC Financial Services, which offers automotive, residential and commercial financing and insurance. GM’s OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on GM can be found at


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