In 2022 Gravity Sketch sponsored a course at ArtCenter College of Design, challenging Transportation Design students to create the next Jeep® Wrangler for automotive manufacturer Stellantis. For the first time in the College’s history, the process for a sponsored project was documented in real-time across social media.
Engagement with industry through sponsored projects has been a hallmark feature of an ArtCenter education since its founding in 1930. Hundreds of corporate sponsored projects have taken place at the College, interweaving business methods into the fabric of ArtCenter’s robust design teaching. Each project incorporates current trends in emerging technologies with a focus on the user experience.
The project brief
Jointly created by Gravity Sketch, Stellantis and ArtCenter, the project required students to design the next generation Jeep® Wrangler in the new realm of electrification and autonomy in 2030. Students used Gravity Sketch to enhance their automotive design process, experimenting with a range of capabilities within the 3D design and modeling software, including sketch blitz, ergonomics studies, photo editing, 3D rendering and other modeling techniques.
The 14-week project kicked-off on September 13, 2022, with the final presentations scheduled for December 2022. As part of ArtCenter’s educational model, all students retain intellectual property rights in any work created in the classroom unless otherwise negotiated. At the end of the term, however, students were expected to deliver final renderings, final presentation materials, a milled foam model, an Instagram clip and a two-minute video.
Transparency into the design process
Students were asked to document their process across social media in real-time, posting photos and videos and using the hashtag — #GravitySketchJeep.
The students’ progress was followed by Gravity Sketch with videos, interviews, milestone presentations and background footage, to create a final short-form narrative video that summarizes the project. Teasers and real-time updates were shared on the Gravity Sketch Education Instagram page.
Technologies in the automotive industry are constantly advancing, bringing opportunities to redefine the future of mobility. Sharing the students’ creative process in real-time showed the full scope of innovation and techniques used to arrive at their final product, and ended up bringing a network effect component to the creative process.
“Traditionally, agreements with our strategic partners include a 90-day non-disclosure window because students are often working on real-world challenges and opportunities faced by companies that require confidentiality,” said Regina Dowling-Jones, ArtCenter’s vice president of Strategic Partnerships. “This is the first time a company has agreed to showcase the student-driven design process as the project is happening and we couldn’t be more thrilled to give potential partners and prospective students a peek at what happens inside an ArtCenter classroom.”
Take a look at the project as it happened on the tag #GravitySketchJeep