The 2017 Transportation Design degree show at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) Swansea campus showcased a number of projects from its BA graduating students and work from a second-year sponsored project for British carmaker Jaguar.
Though the University’s School of Art is steeped in history, the BA Transportation Design program has only been going since 2004 and the MA program is only four years old. But that hasn’t prevented car companies sponsoring programs at the school and recruiting talent, with graduates having gone on to start their careers at Rolls-Royce, JLR, McLaren and others. The three-year BA program — which includes a live project with industry in the second year — worked on an autonomous future electric car project for Jaguar.
The Transportation Design program used to be part of the Engineering department but has now spun off on its own. The classes are housed in the two-year-old ALEX building and headed by BA/MDes Automotive Design course director Sergio Fontanarosa — an industry veteran who has worked on both exterior and interior design projects for Audi, Alfa Romeo, BMW, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Maserati and Fiat. He was also motorcycle design lecturer at the IAAD in Turin, Italy.
This year’s projects included a number of cars as well as boats; an ekranoplan vehicle proposal for the Lexus brand, and a vehicle-themed LEGO design. The second-year students also showcased their work from the Jaguar collaboration.
Maserati Ettore concept
“Most modern cars are overcrowded with graphics and features that distract from the overhaul volumes and proportions,” says Williams, whose goal was to design an elegant driver-focused car. He took a pure and simplistic approach that respected the ‘constrained flamboyance’ values of the Maserati brand.
Inspired by the Italian brand’s sporting heritage — particularly the Gran Prix cars from the 50s and 60s – Williams looked to nature and the human body in creating the open top roadster’s forms. He chose the format to create an emotional connection between the driver and the environment.
The split cockpit provides a cocoon for the driver and passenger while allowing of the car to accelerate to the back. The peak around the horizon line creates a muscular tension that travels around the car, creating forward motion.
A naturally aspirated Ferrari V8 with ‘Freevalve technology’ provides performance and aural gratification. This technology decreases the weight and size of the engine while increasing efficiency and performance. By shutting down cylinders to improve fuel economy and decrease emissions or provide more power and throttle response by changing the valve timing, the engine’s smaller size also allows the hood to be lower improving aerodynamic drag.