Spark Challenges America: Promote Your Great Auto Designers, Fast

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Top auto firms and ambitious upstarts have until August 1 to submit cutting-edge work.

Spark Award Winner: Chevy Volt Hybrid

As a society we face unprecedented challenges related to resources, environmental considerations and strong competition for the attention of consumers. We encourage and help designers to create design that makes a difference. We need the best designers we can get. Spark showcases their work and the enlightened companies who have backed them and given them the opportunity to flourish.

As US auto makers begin to break for the Summer holidays, and America fuels its SUVs to head on vacation, a unique global competition asks a simple question: "What designs will rescue our car industry?"

"Last year General Motors' innovative Volt hybrid concept was celebrated with a top Spark award," says Robert Cumberford, one of this year's Spark Awards judges and design editor of Automobile Magazine. "We want to know what the auto companies have to show for another twelve months of hard work,"

"Ford has just postponed the F150 pickup launch. The auto industry faces an unprecedented crisis - it needs to build efficient, desirable vehicles that people really want to buy and drive," Cumberford continues.

"For too long, the US auto industry has held itself together through great financial services - rebate campaigns and low interest deals. But high fuel prices show up most vehicles on sale for what they are - lazy designs based upon old paradigms. There's no going back. Only great design, engineering and marketing will bring future customers back to American brands. At Spark we celebrate the talent that will create a renaissance."

The global competition returns with a new, simplified entry system so firms can submit more designs from their portfolio, with less paperwork, at http://www.sparkawards.com.

NEW PROCESSES, NEW TECHNOLOGIES, NEW TALENTS

Spark is a fresh, modern qualification system that recognizes new processes and technology and seeks to involve people and ideas from untapped sources. Designers from all levels and skill-sets are welcome, be they professional, novice or student. Everyone is invited to participate: designers, art directors, architects, design firms, manufacturers, institutions, ad agencies, students and novices may enter and enjoy the Spark Design Awards.

Spark Advisory Council member Sam Lucente, VP Design at Hewlett-Packard emphasizes the need for great problem-solvers who can work across industry divides: "As a society we face unprecedented challenges related to resources, environmental considerations and strong competition for the attention of consumers. We encourage and help designers to create design that makes a difference. We need the best designers we can get. Spark showcases their work and the enlightened companies who have backed them and given them the opportunity to flourish."

SIMPLE ENTRY PROCESS

The first phase for the competition requires entrants to submit their work online with photos and a brief mission statement. The deadline to enter is August 1 (late deadline: August 25). A panel, consisting of VIP design jurors, will review the online submissions and decide who will move on to the second phase as Spark "Challengers."

Designers whose work qualifies have the option to enter the second phase. The deadline to enter is Sept.1, with the physical piece or model for the jurors to review.

All entrants are invited to attend the 2008 Spark Awards, where winners will be announced. Winners of phase two will be awarded either a prestigious Silver Spark, Gold Spark, or ultimate Spark! award. All winners will be on long-term exhibition at the dazzling new Autodesk Design Center at One Market Street, San Francisco.

The Spark Awards sponsors and partners include Hewlett Packard, Autodesk, Automobile Magazine, RedClay Interactive, Bravo Media, Joie de Vivre Hotels, http://www.Archinect.com, California Magazine and ArchNewsNow.

For more information on the Spark Awards and other related information, please visit http://www.sparkawards.com.

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Mark Charmer
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