In his high school days, Mark Trostle entered a design contest that would propel him down the path of automotive design. He won the contest and embarked on the first step of a career that would ultimately see him become Head of Ram Truck and Mopar Design at Stellantis. That contest was Drive for Design. In 2013 he revived the contest, enabling young aspiring designers currently enrolled in high schools in the United States to be recognized and win prizes.
The annual Drive for Design contest initiated by Stellantis (formerly FCA) provides young designers a platform to showcase their creative skills. Every year has a different theme based around one of the company’s brands. The 2021 Drive for Design contest challenges students in grades 10-12 to sketch an electrified Jeep vehicle of the future. And, just like in the professional world, there is a level of urgency – entries are due by May 14, 2021. Three students will be named winners from all valid entries received.
Prizes for the first, second and third place winners of the 2021 Drive for Design will receive one-on-one mentoring time with leading designers at the Stellantis Design Studios, a scholarship to attend College for Creative Studies virtual summer design program and either a Wacom MobileStudio Pro 16 (1st place) or an Apple iPad Pro with Apple Pencil (2nd and 3rd place).
“Since the contest began nine years ago, we’ve been able to connect and help many young artists establish a career path in automotive design,” said Trostle. “In fact, we’ve had previous contestants as summer interns and recently we hired a former winner who is now working in one of the design studios. Regardless of where these students ultimately land, it’s rewarding to our team to be able make an impact on someone’s career.”
The Drive for Design contest is an innovative way to educate young artists about careers in automotive design. Starting locally in Detroit, Drive for Design has grown to become a national contest that awards talented students with prizes and unique opportunities to further develop their design skills.
Last year’s Drive for Design contest saw three entrants from Michigan and California take the top spots in a 10-week competition that asked students to sketch a Ram truck of the future. The above sketches (clockwise from left) are by first-place winner Job Skandera, a 12th-grade student from Santa Clara, California; Second place winner Vincent Piaskowski, an 11th-grade student from Birmingham, Michigan; and third place winner Alex David Kirschmann, an 11th-grade student from Auburn Hills, Michigan.