IVT Interview Design Challenge
Interwiew zum gewonnen Designpreis
The challenge ahead
AS ENTRIES ARE BEING PREPARED FOR THE 2022 DESIGN CHALLENGE, WE TALK TO ONE OF THE 2021 WINNERS AND LOOK FORWARD TO THE NEXT SHOWCASE, THIS SUMMER
Unless you are new to iVT (in which case, welcome) you are likely to be familiar with our Design Challenge. The DC started 23 years ago and aside from a brief hiatus has been an annual mainstay of the publication ever since. Its purpose is to inspire new thinking in off-highway vehicle design in order to meet the constantly evolving demands of the industry, utilising innovative materials, concepts and components in new and creative ways. The winning entries – showcasing fantastic new aesthetics for future vehicles – adorn our pages. The challenge is an opportunity to promote the work of the world’s best industrial designers, and it also acts a shop window for their talent.
A new solution
Last year the competition had entries from all over the world. One of the four featured winners was Panik Ebner Design, a studio based out of a Stuttgart, Germany. Andreas Panik and Christian Ebner have worked as industrial designers for nearly 30 years, realising projects in mechanical engineering, rail and commercial vehicles, all of which require a design that stays fresh for 10-20 years. eir entry – an allelectric load haul dumper for mining applications – impressed the judges with its modular construction, cutting edge ergonomics and futuristic lines.
“The assignment was up-to-date and interesting,” says Andreas Panik, in reference to the call for respondents to take advantage of all current and future trends in electrification. “And it matched a topic that had already been on our minds for some time.”
The pair did some research on mining vehicles triggered by acquisitive interest. Their ideas included a new cabin concept, modularity and view angle analysis. e challenge served as a welcome opportunity to give the ideas a twist that fitted the assignment, and to add some new renderings.
“We got our initial motivation from a research-visit at Bad Reichenhall’s salt mine,” says Panik. “The topics of the resulting project focused on better ergonomics and the impact of electrification on a new styling approach. The trend of remote controlled and/or automatic operation was a fresh aspect that we added.”
Crucial for the industry
Panik Ebner first participated in the Design Challenge back in 2013. “We like iVT’s approach to featuring industrial design in a serious manner,” said Panik. “We do projects in different branches and experience a lack of serious coverage or reports on industrial design as a substantial factor in product development.”
The Panik Ebner studio is mostly working on design briefings for medium-sized companies, which can at times be restrictive, hampering creative expression or the exploration of the unusual. “Long-lasting partnerships are valuable but can sometimes limit the perspective of what could be achieved with a new and more versatile partner,” says Panik. “A client may have to move in small, careful steps. Alternatively their mind may be open for an innovative design that proves unrealisable due to an inappropriate timeline for all parties involved. Within a design challenge we can pour out gathered knowledge and our attitude of how design concepts should and could look like with fewer compromises. And this opportunity we really enjoy from time to time – if we can spare the time.”
According to Panik, iVT’s Design Challenge and other similar competitions remain crucial to the industry. He bemoans the lack of pandemic, not least due to the cancellation of big automotive shows in Geneva, Detroit and Frankfurt, where OEMs present advanced studies, receiving immediate audience-response to new ideas and technologies as well as demonstrating OEM competence. “Big OEMs have the potential to push study results directly through to the prototype stage but in our opinion the advanced automotive designs lack genuine, expand-the-box ideas and concepts,” says Panik. “We sense more creative potential within industrial and off-road-vehicles. The reason may be absence of mass market pressures, task-orientation and cross-sector synergy-effect. However, prototypes for advanced off -highway studies are cost-intensive and therefore rare.
iVT is the platform for advanced, creative and exciting studies for the industry, without the need for cost-intensive prototypes.” “To me iVT is like the Sports Illustrated of heavy equipment magazines,” says previous winner and world-renowned industrial designer, Jon Pope. “To my knowledge it’s something that does not exist in other publication for industrial design. e Design Challenge is a great way of showcasing original ideas. It pays tenfold in terms of exposure, work and the fun had from coming up with a new machine form. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.”
iVTInternational.com March 2021