A collection of bright new ideas, some of them strictly for fun. They emerged from the thesis projects that conclude the master’s course in Transportation Design every year at Sweden’s world renowned Umea Institute of Design, and are then put on public display.

As usual, the school imposed no briefing on its students, allowing them to work on their own projects in total freedom for about five months. Throughout that period the students developed their own ideas in partnership with a transport company of their own choice, supported by a mentor supplied by that company.

It is a two-stage process. In Stage One, the students select their brand and the contacts with the company in question. In Stage Two, they complete their designs and discuss them with their individual tutors. Some companies adopt a more hands-on approach, offering their students work experience, which serves the dual purpose of identifying emerging talents and introducing the youngsters to the realities of the world of work.

Despite the diversity of the vehicle types selected, all seven projects revealed a common denominator: a pronounced interest in safety, a topic of particular interest to the transportation industry at this time.

The school’s libertarian approach leaves the students free to develop their own ideas and to choose a sector they are really interested in or feel they have a special talent for. It is an approach that gives the fullest possible run to the imagination implicit in youthful, unformed minds.

The article continues in Auto & Design no. 149

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