CCS students design transportation from bulldozers to exotics

A picture – or in some cases a model – may be worth a thousand words, but the work of 2016 College for Creative Studies transportation design students is helped by their words.

These young men and women must state the case for their individual projects, explaining sources of power, environmental impact, to whom they are marketing and why there is a need.

Models, sketches and reasoning of 2016 graduating seniors specializing in transportation were on display as part of CCS’s annual student show in May. And it wasn’t just about cars. Trucks, a plane, buses and a yacht showed off the talents of budding professionals.

>>Browse a photo gallery of the student show 

Graduating senior Zac Seta figured “visibility is key” when it comes to operating work vehicles like a bulldozer. Seta’s bulldozer concept offered a cabin with wrap-around glass for greater all-around visibility. Current bulldozer design tends to have significant obstructions to an operator’s lines of vision – not good when tree stumps, concrete, wood and bricks are being dislodged and relocated.

It may be more difficult to justify investment in a three-person Mercedes AMG compared with a work truck, but May CCS graduate David Root improved the case for ultra-luxury vehicles by the addition of pixels capable of changing the car exterior much like a peacock fanning its multicolored plumage.

 Mercedes AMG concept

Research, sketches and explanations lead to the creation of a model – in this case, David Root’s Mercedes AMG concept.

David and Ryan Root created a poster for Root Brothers Design Works, “a project to design and build a vintage race car . . . within the strict context of the early 20th century.” David Root’s Spirit of Detroit model might be a springboard for just such a racer.

The Roots’ inspiration for racers and future passenger cars comes from vehicles ranging from a Lincoln special Speedster to current coupes from Bentley, Mercedes and BMW.

Two-Tier Mobility concept

This model of a versatile battery-powered three-wheel vehicle capable of high speeds for commuting and low speeds for no-car zones is the work of Guenter Nyanankpe.

The target customer for Loren Golden’s yacht Shima was a young venture capitalist with international connections – a person who has already gone places professionally and now wishes to do so geographically.

In spite of its contemporary exterior lines, Golden explained on his sketches that “curved walls maximize interior space and are reminiscent of early wooden sailboats.”

In planning a compact luxury car, new graduate Dustin Davis addressed the comfort of the rear-seat passengers by slightly angling their seats toward the middle of the car. This “allows for better comfort as well as better communication,” he explained in his sketches which served as a backdrop for his finished models.

With a nod to current motoring expectations, Davis put rear-seat cupholders in the space between the angled seats and the rear doors.

Another blending of present with future was 2016 graduate Jordan Beckley’s take on the characteristic “aero” lines of Airstream trailers. “Wabi,” his concept for a future travel trailer, could be 10 inches shorter, six inches taller and 3,000 pounds lighter than a typical current model and still accommodate the needs of its users.

Airstream concept

Jordan Beckley tackled the iconic “aero” Airstream trailer design and created “Wabi,” his forecast for a future trailer. Beckley says his update could be 10 inches shorter, six inches taller and 3,000 pounds lighter than a typical current model.