The traditional media would have you believe that millennials would rather goof around on an iPhone than have anything to do with cars. Alex Fischer represents the promise that youth brings to the automobile industry. He was the 2014 winner of the Detroit Autorama Design Compeititon, and he sat down with BestRide.com to talk about where he hopes automotive design will take him.
Alex is from Rochester, Michigan, and was attending Stoney Creek High School in 2013 when he learned about the Detroit Autorama Design Competition. The competition was resurrected in 2013 by Head of SRT, Viper, Mopar and Motorsports Design Mark Trostle, who won the competition himself in 1988.
Alex gave us a few minutes out of his busy school schedule to talk about automotive design.
BestRide: When did you know you wanted to design cars as a profession? Was it something you were always interested in, or did it come together during the contest?
Alex Fischer: For a long time, I have had an interest in the aesthetic value of transportation and industrial design as a whole. I first became interested at a young age, when I would visit the CCS student show from year to year with my mother, who is an alumni.
BR: What was your inspiration for the car that you designed? Was there a car or a designer that you liked that you wanted to emulate?
AF: The inspiration for the car I designed was sort of spontaneous. It was a sketch that I had done before I knew I wanted to enter a competition.
To me, the sketch looked like it fit the Chrysler brand well. When I heard about the competition, I thought it was worth a shot to show my vision.
BR:How much of a difference did the design contest make in your decision to attend the College for Creative Studies? (The grand prize for the 2015 edition of the Detroit Autorama Design Contest is a $60,000 scholarship to attend the College for Creative Studies.)
AF: Although I was previously planning to attend CCS, this competition reassured me that it was the most fit school for what I wanted to study. It also was a great motivator for me to continually improve upon my skills.
BR: What have you learned about Transportation Design since you entered the contest? Was it everything you thought it would be?
AF: Since the contest, I have learned much more about transportation design. At the time, I thought I had known exactly what I wanted to go to CCS for, to design automotive exteriors. Now having been in the program for a semester, I have gained appreciation for other aspects of transportation/industrial design.
I have an increasing interest in interiors, and the ideas of autonomous vehicles. I also am beginning to understand the idea of “form follows function” as opposed to trying to make things look good without reason.
BR: What are your plans as you get closer to graduation?
AF: I have not solidified what I want to end up doing after college, although I have a few goals that I am geared towards. I would love to end up in Europe, designing either exteriors or interiors.
I also like the idea of working for an industrial design firm in New York. Who says I can’t try both? That’s the ultimate goal.
The Detroit Autorama Design Competition is open to all high school students in the United States between grades 10 and 12.
Students will design a next generation Dodge vehicle for the year 2025. Students can use elements from the current Dodge lineup for inspiration to create an all new vehicle that represents what the future of Dodge will look like.
The contest runs now through Friday, January 23, 2015. Finalists will be announced on Friday, January 30, 2015 and the awards are presented at the Detroit Autorama at Cobo Center on Friday, March 6th.
For more information on the contest, visit the contest’s Facebook page.
CLICK BELOW FOR A GALLERY OF STUDENT IMAGES FROM THE COLLEGE FOR CREATIVE STUDIES TRANSPORTATION DESIGN PROGRAM