ArtCenter College of Design students in Pasadena will get a chance to design the next Jeep Wrangler in collaboration with Gravity Sketch, a collaborative 3D design technology leader.
In a first for the design college, the process for a sponsored project will be documented in real-time across social media.
“There are 11 Transportation Design students enrolled in the class,” Emily Logan, public relations specialist at ArtCenter, said. “Most of these students are in their sixth term at ArtCenter, which is equivalent to being somewhere in between a sophomore and junior at a more traditional 4-year college.”
The 14-week project kicked off September 13, with final presentations scheduled for December 13. At the end of the term, these 11 students are expected to deliver final renderings, final presentation materials, a milled foam model, an Instagram clip and a two-minute video to the sponsor as creative inspiration. One student project will be selected by Gravity Sketch and Stellantis to be fully built-out as a one-fourth scale model.
“We will build two models, one for the student to keep and one for our London HQ,” Rebecca Miller, education program manager at Gravity Sketch, said.
ArtCenter, Gravity Sketch, and industry partner Stellantis jointly created the project brief to design the next-generation Jeep Wrangler in the new realm of electrification and autonomy in 2030. Students are required to use a Gravity Sketch-designed suite to enhance their automotive design process, experimenting with a range of capabilities within the 3D design and modeling software, including sketch blitz, ergonomics studies, photo editing, 3D rendering and other modeling techniques.
Gravity Sketch asks the students to document their process across social media in real-time, posting photos and videos and using the hashtag #GravitySketchJeep. Gravity Sketch and ArtCenter will also be documenting the project on video, capturing interviews, milestone presentations and background footage to post on social media and to create a final short-form narrative video to summarize the project.
Daniela Paredes, co-founder and CEO of Gravity Sketch, said she is excited about the transparency this approach will bring.
“Technologies in the automotive industry are constantly advancing, bringing opportunities to redefine the future of mobility,” she said. “Sharing the students’ creative process in real-time on social media will show the full scope of innovation and techniques used to arrive at their final product, and might end up bringing a network effect component to the creative process.”
Traditionally, ArtCenter includes a 90-day non-disclosure clause when it signs design agreements with strategic partners since students often work on real-world challenges and opportunities that require confidentiality.
“This is the first time a company has agreed to showcase the student-driven design process as the project is happening and we couldn’t be more thrilled to give potential partners and prospective students a peek at what happens inside an ArtCenter classroom,” Regina Dowling-Jones, ArtCenter’s vice president of Strategic Partnerships, said.
ArtCenter professors will also be assisting in the design process. Meeting for five hours weekly, students will present in-progress work to Marek Djordjevic, the faculty member leading the class, along with representatives from Gravity Sketch and Stellantis.
Students will also receive regular feedback and critique from a panel of Stellantis’ top designers including Mark Moushegian, advanced design manager for Stellantis; Lou Gasevski, lead design manager for RAM trucks; and Laura Jonason, exterior designer for Alpha Romeo. This provides the students a rare opportunity to tap into real industry expertise, which will challenge them to push their concepts further.