Hongik University Students Design Future Bentley

Bentley recently sponsored a competition to design a future model at Seoul’s Hongik University, the ultra-luxury carmaker’s first design collaboration with a university outside the UK.

The project’s theme was to create a future model for Bentley in the year 2040 using the ‘Blue Train’ — a famous model in Bentley’s history, which won the speed race against real train in 1930 — as inspiration. The project, part of Bentley Motors Korea’s social responsibility programs, aims to foster new design talent in Korea and support young designers looking to enter the global automotive industry.

Hongik University Bentley 2040 project

“Having to reinterpret the traditional image of Bentley brand into futuristic luxury was a new challenge and interesting theme for the students,” said Lee Geun, professor of Industrial Design at Hongik University, who led the program for one semester. “Moving beyond designing a simple luxury car, they had a valuable opportunity to learn about the dignity, authority and DNA of Bentley, and to understand the real spirit of making cars.”

The competition was overseen not only by the Korean design school’s faculty, but also received input from Bentley’s head of design Luc Donckerwolke and exterior design and advanced design director Sangyup Lee, who visited the school twice from their studio in Crewe, England. During their visits they discussed Bentley’s future design needs with the aspiring vehicle designers and evaluated the students’ work and provided professional feedback.

“Designing a Bentley is hard work but I was very surprised and impressed by the talents and passion of all the students,” said Donckerwolke. “For this joint class between Bentley and Hongik University, the most important task was to balance the tradition and new changes. And I could see many of such ideas from the presentations and it was ever more meaningful to me as well since I was inspired and motivated by the creative ideas of the students.”

Donckerwolke and Lee visited the school at the start of last month together with Bora Kim (a Hongik University graduate currently working with Bentley’s exterior design team) to attend the final presentation and select the winners of the competition. Here are the results.

Among the 11 presenters, Kim Cha Young, a transportation design major, was honored with first place, being praised to have made a fresh and futuristic design that depicts the brand’s unique lines. Second place went to Park Sung Jin who received high scores for combining creative ideas with realistic images.

The two winners will have an opportunity to visit Bentley Motors’s headquarters in Crewe to create quarter-scale models of their projects and present of their work to Bentley’s senior executives. they will also be considered for a future internship at the company’s design studio.

“Design is one of the most critical things in Bentley as design reflects Bentley’s heritage and the brand itself,” said Lee. “Designing a Bentley will be a wonderful experience for both students [and] it will be a wonderful experience for us to support future designers and their visions.”

From left: Bentley's Sangyup Lee, Prof. Lee, 2nd place winner Park Sung Jin, 1st place winner Kim Cha Young and Bentley head of design Luc Donckerwolke


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