FIAT is challenging Vehicle Design students at the prestigious Royal College of Art (RCA) in London to explore how FIAT’s most iconic models might look in the future, via a new initiative entitled “Two of a Kind”.
The “Two of a Kind” project focusses on the two models that best characterise the FIAT ethos of making cool cars – infused with Italian effervescence – for real people: The iconic, stylish and much-loved FIAT 500 and the distinctive, charming and practical FIAT Panda – very different vehicles but both quintessentially FIAT. “Two of a Kind”, you might say.
Placing FIAT’s brand identity at the centre and using its design language as a starting point, fourteen teams of four students will be challenged to develop concepts that explore innovative ‘outside the box’ ideas while taking interactivity, digital interface, sustainability and global appeal in account.
To assist the Master’s students, a series of live lectures are planned at the RCA by FIAT-Chrysler’s top designers, including Head of Design (EMEA region) Roberto Giolito and Head of Global Design Lorenzo Ramaciotti, with the first lecture having taken place yesterday (October 2nd) at the Royal College of Art.
FIAT will deliver six RCA lectures in total, with each lecture focussing on a different theme. The final portion of each lecture will see the students share and receive feedback on the status of their ‘Two of a kind’ project. The series culminates on December 11th 2013 with final student presentations, with the winning projects to be judged by senior FIAT designer heads, RCA department heads and FIAT UK’s Managing Director, Steve Zanlunghi.
In early 2014, the winning students will then take their final designs to the FIAT Centro Stile (Styling Centre) in Turin where they will meet with the model makers to brief them on how best to turn these designs into clay models. These models will then be prepared and unveiled at the students’ RCA degree show in June 2014. In addition, these students will also be offered internships at FIAT’s Centro Stile between July 2014 and February 2015.
Commenting on the project, Mr Zanlunghi explained: “This project is hugely beneficial for both FIAT and the students of the Royal College of Art. The students get to experience how a design proposal is put together, harnessing their creativity, passion and vision to produce an exciting concept that innovates and delights and but with an eye to practicality and feasibility. FIAT, meanwhile, enjoys an influx of fresh ideas, creative solutions and pure design talent, all of which are essential to keeping FIAT at the forefront of design and technological innovation in the future.”
Professor Dale Harrow, Head of Vehicle Design and Dean of the School of Design, Royal College of Art, noted: “One of the benefits of studying Vehicle Design at the RCA is that students have the opportunity to grapple with real design challenges and see their ideas become part of the solution. It’s great to have this relationship with FIAT, and to have these iconic designers giving lectures here.”
The project also coincides with expansion of the “FIAT Likes U” student car-sharing programme into a university outside of Italy for the first time. Originally launched in 2012 by FIAT, with support from the Italian Ministry of Education and Italian Ministry for the Environment, “Fiat Likes U” offered some 280,000 students from the eight universities a practical solution to their personal mobility problems by making a fleet of eight FIAT vehicles available for use free of charge: More than 6,000 students made approximately 28,000 trips totalling more than 320,000 km, with more than 18,000 visits to the dedicated “likesu.FIAT.it” website.
Encouraged by this success, FIAT has chosen to expand the project to other universities in Italy and to open the initiative up to selected universities across Europe beginning with the Royal College of Art in London. Two vehicles, a FIAT 500 and FIAT Panda, will be available to the students participating in the “Two of a Kind” project, allowing them to immerse themselves in, and fully understand, the two great FIAT icons they are endeavouring to re-interpret for the future.