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Chamber News, Member News 20th May 2019

Inaugural sketch-off event held at the London Motor & Tech Show gathered together the brightest young car designers from leading UK design schools. Held in partnership with Bridge of Weir Leather Company, the event saw the designers sketch ideas for a future James Bond car. Their work was judged by a panel of experienced heads of design from car companies including Bentley, Land Rover, Tata and Nissan, with the top prize going to Hui Li from the Royal College of ArtBridge of Weir prides itself on its connections with the world’s leading designers and is a supplier to globally-renowned automotive brands. The company sources the finest hides from the best heritage breeds, offering a unique blend of craftsmanship with advanced manufacturing techniqueFor more information go to: http://www.bowleather.com

The first-ever Car Design News Sketch-off, held in partnership with Bridge of Weir Leather Company, took place at the London Motor & Tech Show last night with aspiring young car designers competing to win prizes and, most importantly, the acclaim of a panel of leading automotive designers.

Shining a light on some of the best young talent from the UK’s leading universities, the sketch- off pitted the designers against the clock, giving them just 45 minutes to produce a full image of how a future James Bond car might look.

The event – designed to be a new, fun and non-traditional way for the next-generation of design talent to meet car makers and key automotive suppliers such as Bridge of Weir – was hosted by TV presenter, Mike Brewer, with the sketches being judged by experienced heads of design from leading manufacturers.

That panel included James Watkins, Creative Specialist Manager – Land Rover, Crispin Marshfield, Exterior Design Manager – Bentley Motors, Chetan Chohan, Design Manager – Nissan Design Europe, Martin Uhlarik, Head of Design – Tata Motors UK and Carl Gotham, Advanced Design Director – SAIC Design Advanced Europe.

Four universities (who all have specialised Transportation Design courses) collectively sent eight students to the event. With the stopwatch run down and their sketches finished, the designers took to the stage at the event in ExCeL, where a clear winner emerged: Hui Li from the Royal College of Art.

Commenting on the design, Crispin Marshfield of Bentley Motors said: “It’s a great drawing that has been beautifully executed. This really represents the whole package.” While Martin Uhlarik from Tata Motors added: “This is a bold and strong design with innovative details such as a wheel that detaches like a Segway to gives James Bond another vehicle. Overall, technically it’s excellent.

Winner Hui Li said: “With this sketch I was trying to capture that feeling, that elegant British style.” He won £500 in cash, a subscription to Car Design News, but more importantly the recognition and feedback from the judging line-up.

Maxine Morland, Managing Editor of Car Design News, commented: “Encouraging the next generation of designers is one of Car Design News’ most important missions and doing so in new and exciting ways is also key to what we do. We would like to say a huge thank you to Bridge of Weir Leather Company for partnering with us on this event, their commitment to design, quality, innovation and craftsmanship is why they are one of the world’s leading suppliers to the automotive industry.”

Bridge of Weir’s Managing Director, Karen Marshall, said: “At Bridge of Weir Leather Company we pride ourselves on our close connections with the world’s best car designers. Our Fine Scottish Leather is the result of a unique blend of craftsmanship, advanced techniques – and our relationship with leading automotive design departments. The Car Design News Sketch-Off has been a superb event, one that we have been delighted to support, and that has identified some future design leaders. We look forward to working with them as they advance in their careers.”

Bridge of Weir is the largest automotive leather supplier in the UK, competes in the top 10 globally, and has been at the forefront of innovation and quality for over a century. Starting with the Model T Ford in the early 20th century, the company now supplies the global automotive industry and its greatest brands and products that are household names around the world. The company’s leather has been a major export from Scotland for 70 years, with 90 percent of its product now sold overseas to 20 countries spanning the globe.

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