The 2015 Middlecott Sketch Battle Experiment, held during last week’s NAIAS media preview days at the the Tangent Gallery in Detroit, is a design competition between 13 young designers. Known as an automotive design ‘fight club of design’ the event is an underground after-party to the prestigious EyesOn Design event.
This year’s design competition consisted of three rounds, each lasting 20 minutes. The first round tasked designers with creating a sedan sketch for the year 2025; round two had participants focus on a pickup truck theme; and round three saw three finalists work on the design of a sports car.
Darby Barber, a senior from the College of Creative Studies (CCS) — made famous for her role on the recent Motor City Masters TV show — took home the top prize for her sketch of a future Mazda RX-7.
Judged based on their sketch quality, design quality and the consistency of the design in relation to the chosen brand, all of the entrants were judged by a panel that included Robert Walker, chief interior designer at Jeep; Camilo Pardo, Motor City Masters winner and designer of the second generation Ford GT; Dan Darancou, CH Auto VP of design; and Alikhan Kulijanov, lead designer at GM’s Buick brand.
Held bi-annually and coinciding with the NAIAS and Detroit Design Festival, the Middlecott Sketch Battle Experiment is a creative community event where today’s and tomorrow’s motor industry elite battle for recognition as the competition champion.