This year’s 23rd annual contest has been themed Balancing Sustainability and is focused on mobility solutions that address not one or two of those pillars, but all three. When solutions only address people and profit, the result is equitable. When people and planet are addressed, the result is bearable. And when profit and planet are addressed, the solution is viable. However, a solution that balances all three pillars is truly sustainable.
Movin’On Challenge Design welcomes entries that disrupt mobility norms in a way that exponentially improve sustainable mobility. A sustainable mobility solution is one that exhibits the attributes of safety, efficiency, accessibility and is environmentally friendly.
“Disruptive approaches are needed to accelerate mobility transformation,” said Kimbrelly Kegler, Chair of the Movin’On Challenge Design. “And to make a global impact, their balance must be sustainable.”
A 2023 design submission should include the following elements:
- 1. Identify the specific urban or suburban area in which your solution will be deployed.
- 2. Describe the primary purpose of the solution. Consider land, maritime and aviation domains.
- 3. Show how each pillar of sustainability is reflected in the design.
- 4. Provide a visual representation of your solution showing your design process.
Challenge Design is a featured program of the Movin’On Summit, the world’s foremost gathering for sustainable mobility. Michelin has been the inspiration behind Movin’On Challenge Design since its inception 23 years ago and is proud to partner with a global community of designers and innovators to support disruptive ideas that promote a more sustainable future in mobility.
A Deeper Dive into the Pillars of Sustainability
The people pillar promotes social sustainability. It includes initiatives related to human health and wellbeing, education, workforce development, social justice and equality, urban regeneration, community development and cultural diversity. Typically, efforts to improve social sustainability trickle into the next pillar as well.
Profit has to do with economic sustainability, which is the idea of supporting a population on less than the entirety of its finished goods and services. Economic sustainability focuses on things like waste reduction and low-impact economic development, but it can be directly boosted by social sustainability initiatives.
The planet pillar is defined by environmental sustainability. Without the planet in mind, sustainability is focused solely on society and economics, making solutions nothing more than bearable. Environmental sustainability tackles issues such as resource conservation, clean water and sanitation, and energy production.
Q&A with the Jurors
Since its inception, Challenge Design has enjoyed tremendous support from the global design community. Several jurors recently shared some of their insights into the Challenge Design program. Below are their responses.
What is it like to see the variety of Challenge Design entries?
“I’ve learned so much from everybody who’s been a part of this. It’s been really inspiring…I always take away something around innovation. Why innovate? Who innovates? For whom? With whom?
“Designers are brilliant facilitators. They are problem solvers. Way back in history, you saw the poets and the artists that were in the room with the politicians to help create the most beautiful and impactful innovations—now, you are seeing it more and more. You are starting to see creatives coming into the room.”
Angela Hariche, CEO, Catapult Design
What are you dreaming about?
“Why are we doing this? Why are we doing this for humanity? We are trying to improve human life. I think it is up to designers and creative thinkers. They are obligated to dream. They are obligated to think about the future in positive ways. And I think art is where those types of problems get solved.”
Chris Chapman, Former Design Director, Hyundai Design of North America
Why take this approach to gain disruptive solutions?
“I think true designers look at things completely different. They are almost the opposite of mainstream.
“Designers (and creatives) are wired in a way that they are constantly thinking about the future or how to maybe improve something that already exists or simplify the function of something that exists.
“Collaboration is always a good thing. Working together, exchanging ideas, brainstorming and collaboration are all extremely positive things.”
Craig Metros, Former Design Director, North American Truck, SUV & Commercial, Ford Motor Company
Instructor for College for Creative Studies
Why is balancing sustainability important?
“Innovation for the sake of innovation doesn’t really get us anywhere, but innovation with the desire to achieve a goal with a purpose—that’s what we want.
“Since its beginning, Michelin has been an innovation leader in mobility. Innovation with a purpose, with the intent of making the world a better place—that is what we need and that is the purpose of Movin’On.”
Damien Michelin, Honorary Juror
How do entrants bring visions to life?
“Designers can visualize something. They are almost always shooting for that thing. It’s out there somewhere—the visualization part of it, the ability to project scenarios. Literally, they see it in their mind and then manifest it [so that] everyone else can also visualize it.
“The end goal for any designer to be successful is to understand what the people need and then find a solution for it. That is the bottom line.”
Dave Marek, Acura Global Creative Director, Honda R&D Americas Inc.
How does one leverage innovation?
“Innovation and inspiration come from everywhere. There is no set direction of where or how to solve a problem. Sometimes you are offered a new technology or an innovation. Sometimes you already have in the back of your mind a set of problems that this innovation will solve and so it starts to click. Sometimes you are just ideating and conceptualizing, and you are searching for innovation to help you.”
Freeman Thomas, Former Global Advanced Design Director, Ford Motor Company
CEO, Meyers Manx
What does collaboration look like with Challenge Design?
“You find yourself collaborating with engineering schools. Then there are all the startups. There are companies that are developing materials or developing processes. I think that is super important because it’s an outside view of our business, and we can learn a lot from that. So, it’s a lot of cross pollination between different industries.
“Everybody out there is looking to collaborate, and it is not only a learning moment, but it’s also a moment where you can use other people’s expertise to drive your design and your business forward.”
Frank Saucedo, Former Design Director, General Motors
How do we ensure our work is making a difference?
“Society has never had more needs. Designers want to know, ‘What kind of a difference can we make?’ ‘How can my role make a difference?’
“System thinking probably best flows from good observation (like da Vinci did), looking about the world around us and how ecosystems work, how the natural world works. Designers are realizing that you can system think best with collaboration with other people, other skill sets, technology, business, social understanding and more.”
Stewart Reed, Chair, Transportation Design Department, Art Center College of Design
Global Impact Year After Year
The five most recent Challenges recognized winners from Spain, South Korea, Denmark, China, India, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, Ukraine, Greece, France, Russia, Colombia, Taiwan, Mexico, United States, Indonesia, Argentina, and Algeria. The winners were from diverse backgrounds, including architecture, engineering, city planning, transportation design and art. Since its inception more than 14,000 entries have been received from 134 countries. The 2022 Challenge Design saw the number of female entries increase to 25 percent.
The beauty and ultimate challenge of this year’s event is that designers are being invited to create not just solutions, but balanced solutions. Entries are now open for 2023 Movin’On Challenge Design.
Those who would like to participate should register online at www.michelinchallegedesign.com before final submissions are due February 28, 2023.
Winners will be recognized during the 2023 Movin’On Summit in June. You can learn more about Movin’On by visiting www.movinonconnect.com.
(Image Courtesy: Movin’On Challenge Design for Car Body Design)