Design Journey #1

Induction at Coventry University

After moving hundreds of miles away from my family in the Highlands of Scotland, I have now started life at Coventry University. And began the path to persue my dream, of becoming a car designer. Inducting onto the BA Automotive and Transport Design course.

The first day of the induction was a real eye opener for myself, I found myself in a large class of 50 odd people, including EU and International students, inside a large studio. Then we were told about the course modules. And the things I'll end up doing on the course go beyond anything you could imagine. I found out on the first year of the course I'll be working on 2D and 3D illustration skills, and alot of clay modelling. There is also the engineering side of things to, studying vehicle architecture, materials and manufacturing. In the last half an hour of the day, the people I was sitting with were challenging each other, to design a quick sketch of a car with only a pen. They then challenged me, and despite never doing a design in only pen. I pulled it off, and looked surprising good. At the end of the day though, it was nice to find and be amongst so many with the same love of cars, let alone the same goal.

The second day of my induction involved, getting into a large group of ten people to come together with a group name, and make a 3D model of an iconic car. Out of recyclable materials, and include an exterior and interior. In the end after a 10 minute debate, we choose the Volkswagen Campervan (the orginal T1), and named ourselves "the happy campers," because of the hippy audience the car had. But then we found out someone had stolen our name and Campervan idea. So we renamed ourselves "the crappy campers," and are currently putting together a legal battle over copyright infridgement. By the end of the day we were also given our timetable for our first semester. Its 5 days a week, Monday to Friday. So any part time work has to be done in the evenings or at the weekends.

The third induction day was mostly a continuation of the Campervan project, involving the production of sketches to compliment our designs. I realised no one in our group had done interior sketches. Since our models had to have an interior as well. I produce an additional two drawings of the Campervan's interior, including the front and rear interior. When I asked why I no one else done interior sketches, they said it was because no one else could. So I was the only person in our group who could draw an interior. As the model was coming together, I decided to see what the groups were producing. I was already aware that one group was copying us, and stole our original name. But the other groups were showing some good orginality and inventivness. One group was doing the original 1965 Ford Mustang, whilst another was doing the Ferrari F40. One model choice that suprised and intrigued me was the Audi Quattro S5 (the pikes peak version of the Group B legend). The other teams were being a bit secretive (might of been a good idea), and wenen't giving anything away. We find out the result of who has done the best model next week (hopefully my group).

The final induction day involved a field trip, to the British Motor Mueseum in Gaydon, Warickshire (near Aston Martin) The final induction day involved a field trip, to the British Motor Mueseum in Gaydon, Warickshire (near Aston Martin). It was a wonderful day to round out the induction. And was meant to help inspire us and possibly create new ideas. The mueseum had incredible selection of British cars, espicially Jagaurs and Land Rovers (it is near there home afterall). I even saw Jan Lammers and Johnny Dumfries, Le Mans winning SilkCut Jagaur. And Mark Webber's 2004 Jagaur F1 car. After that trip to the mueseum, I had to choose an extra employment enhancing module to go alongside my degree. It apart of Coventry University's Add+Vantage schme. To help students get into there desired industries quicker, in a competitive field of people. I choose the "the design your own project" module thats basically a project management course. If I'm planning to get a top design position, I need do these kind of courses to stand out amongst fellow designers with a similar aim. Afterwords with my induction over, I decided to walk in and visit the Coventry Transport Mueseum (its free admission and just round the corner from the university). There car collection celebrates Coventry's history in the automotive industry, with cars from Jagaur, Land Rover and the varoius former British Leyland brands like Rover, Austin and Triumph. As well as a couple a Landspeed record cars. Standouts include the original Jagaur CX-75 concept, Thrust 2 and the current Landspeed record holder SSC Thrust. As place to visit I highly recommend seeing both the British Motor Mueseum, and the Coventry Motor Mueseum to visit.

I will eventually post the pictures I took from both muesuems, and put them on this tribe and other various tribes for you guys. Hopefully they can provide a bit inspiration. I'll leave another issue of Design Journey next week. Hope you guys like it. Thank you for reading

Charlie Alen

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Comments (1)

  • This sounds like a really cool way to get started at uni, productive, creative and fun. Im glad you enjoyed it and hope you're settling in well so far from home, very brave.

    Also, you're going to wipe the floor with the "Happy Campers" !

      3 years ago