By Mark Trostle
I’ve loved cars since I can remember. Growing up in the suburbs of Detroit, my dad and I were regulars at local car shows and most race tracks in Michigan. It’s what we did on the weekends and, thankfully, it’s what I still do with my dad today. You see, my dad is also a car designer. Sketching and drawing cars at the dinner table was pretty much acceptable. Thanks to my dad, I knew that I could take my passion and talent for drawing cars and turn that into a career.
However, not everyone knows that careers in automotive design exist. That’s why one of our missions in the FCA Product Design Office is to educate, inform and inspire young students with natural artistic talent.
Five years ago we launched the Drive for Design competition, which challenges all U.S. high school students in grades 10-12 to design a vehicle, with the opportunity to win a summer automotive design course along with some fun prizes. Since the competition’s inception, we’ve had the pleasure of meeting and guiding young design students along their educational path. In fact, one of the winners from the 2015 contest, now a college student, will be interning with us this summer. Stay tuned to hear more about his journey soon.
This year marks the fifth year of the competition and we’re excited to announce the addition of two new partners – EyesOn Design (EOD) and Lawrence Institute of Technology (LTU).
LTU is a private university that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management. LTU is not only offering a two-week summer automotive design course to the contest winner, they are contributing a $50,000 scholarship award.
EOD focuses on the automotive community and students coming together to commemorate, reflect and appreciate the craftsmanship and beauty of vehicle design. Competition winners will receive their awards on Friday, June 16 at the organization’s renowned “Vision Honored” Black Tie and Silent Auction, an annual event that kicks off the Eyes On Design Automotive Design Exhibition that takes place Father’s Day weekend at the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan. Plus, this year’s event theme, “30 Years in the Future,” goes hand-in-hand with the Drive for Design contest theme of designing a Dodge vehicle 30 years in the future.
EOD and LTU share our passion and commitment to educate and inspire students about automotive design and have helped to amplify this year’s competition.
I hope you can help spread the word about this competition. You may just help jump-start a design career.
Contest rules and information can be found at www.fcadrivefordesign.com. Updates will be posted on the FCA US Facebook page at facebook.com/FiatChrysler.NorthAmerica and facebook.com/DriveforDesign, Twitter @FiatChrysler_NA and Instagram @FiatChrysler_NA, using the hashtag #DriveForDesign.