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Timeline for competition

CDN-GM Interactive Design Competition

The winners have been announced!
Click here
to see who they are!


About the competition:

The competition was split into two phases: The initial phase closed on July 4th and asked students to design a vehicle interior; while the second phase asked students to design a vehicle exterior and closed on November 7th. Students did not have to have entered the first phase to participate in Phase 2.

Phase 1 (Interiors)

The first stage of the competition rain from April - July 4th 2011, and asked design students from the USA and Canada to design a vehicle interior.

GM's four brands (GMC, Cadillac, Chevrolet and Buick) each set a brief and students could choose to submit an entry for as many of the briefs as they wished.


The thirteen finalists then competed against each other for one of the four GM internships that are being offered as prizes to the four eventual winners! They had until November 7th to continue working on their entries and really prove to the judges that they deserve to be a winner.

Phase 2 (Exteriors)

This final phase ran from July - November 7th 2011 and asked design students from the USA and Canada to design a vehicle exterior.

The briefs remained the same as for the Interiors phase. Click on the GM logos on the homepage to see each of the briefs as set by the brand.

The judging of Phase 2 and the final judging of Phase 1 took place in mid-November and the Phase 2 finalists were announced shortly after.
Every finalist was invited to Detroit in January to attend the NAIAS in January 2012, where the overall winners were announced.

There were 4 winners chosen from each Phase of the competition (one winner per brand, for each phase - that's 8 in total). Each of these 8 winners won a paid internship at GMs design studios in Warren, Michigan... and an iPad 2!


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Who we are

The Car Design News - GM interactive design competition is a collaboration between Car Design News, GM and their competition sponsors, Dassault Systèmes and Faurecia.

The briefs

For each phase of the competition, GM's four brands - Buick, studentChevrolet, Cadillac and GMC each set a brief. Students could submit entries for as many of the briefs as they liked,

Reading the brief

Each brand put together a detailed brief, with several pages of material to helped students understand who they are, what they wanted them to do and clues as to what the judges and mentors would be looking for. We've found in previous competitions that those students who have studied and produced work which directly answers the brief, or develops themes that the brief outlines, have been most successful. We know it's tempting to jump right in and just start up loading sketchwork, but remember, the judges and mentors will be looking not just at what you produce in the end, but how you develop your work.

Submitting an entry

Judges, mentors and other students and designers who registered on the competition website could comment and provide feedback on the students' work throughout the competition. We encouraged students to upload entries, thoughts and ideas as they developed - the development process was one of the crucial aspects in the judging process. As students produced more work, they could archive an entry, and then upload new material, which became the active or live entry. At the close of the competition, the students' current live entry, becomes their final submission.

What we wanted to see

The judges and mentors were looking for first class work, which judgedeveloped innovative, exciting and well-presented new ideas which answers the specific requirements of the brief. In judging each competition, special consideration will be made to how the students' work has developed and how they took on board advice from judges, mentors and other commentators.

Social community

This was  an open, online competition, which was held in the spirit of the web, where data and information are shared and exchanged with ease, and where people could come together to collaborate. In this spirit, the judges were looking to see the contribution the entrants made within the wider online community and how they helped their competition peers. We advised students to engage in dialogue with those who commented on their work, and where they made changes to their design based on feedback they received to illustrate how and why this is so.

Judges and mentors

Each of the four GM brands, together with our partners Dassault Systèmes, Faurecia and SRG Global Inc, assigned a judge and a mentor for the competition. You can find details of judges and mentors at the bottom of the page by clicking on their photos. Look out for tips from the top blogs, and comments - particularly from the mentors - whose focus is to guide you and help you develop your work.

Finalists and prizes

The chosen winners for each phase, for each brand, had their work displayed at the 2012 NAIAS Auto Show in Detroit, and were awarded a paid internship with GM.

Two of our competition partners, Dassault and Faurecia, also chose their own winners, from across both phases of the competition. They offered these two students an internship at their design studios. You can read more about prizes here.