Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment™ 2014 Afterparty

On Friday, January 17th, after the Detroit Auto Show Charity Black Tie was well underway, people in tuxes and gowns starting leaving and heading towards New Center to mix with people in t-shirts and cocktail dresses.  Why?  Because the week’s newest and best auto show party was happening in an area once know for blind pigs in a place that used to be called Black Bottom.  More than 500 people attended as the party brought together the formal auto industry, Detroit’s creative community and gear heads of all shapes and sizes in a benefit for a relatively unknown local Museum.

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Sketchbattle Round 1                                                              Photo: Jon Adams

Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment™ is billed as The Fight Club of Design.

Emcee Satori Circus gets the event started

Emcee Satori Circus gets the event started                                                     Photo: Jon Adams

Artists, illustrators, industrial, product and car designers and others came together in a very public setting to compete head to head for the title of Sketchmaster!

MSBE Founder Brook Banham   Photo: Jon Adams

MSBE Founder Brook Banham                         Photo: Jon Adams

According to founder and Chief Executive Brook Banham, the party celebrates the end of a week full of stuffy-auto-show-events with an underground party of epic proportions, sort of the anti-event.

MSBE Partner Frank Schwartz

MSBE Partner Frank Schwartz                          Photo: Jon Adams

Frank Schwartz, Managing Director explained “This year we brought together cars, music and art under one roof to watch a bunch of talented people compete in a fun but pressure-filled environment, and to judge how they perform”.

Emcee Satori Circus pushes a competitor     Photo: Jon Adams

Emcee Satori Circus pushes a competitor       Photo: Jon Adams

Could it be a Sketchbattle with the pressure of Emcee Satori Circus screaming at you is a much better way to vet design candidates than a thousand-hour Coroflot portfolio?

Robert walker, Jeep, Kyle Evans, KED Design and Craig Mackiew

Robert Walker/Jeep, Kyle Evans/KED Design and Craig Mackiewicz/Thinklabs (LtoR) Photo: Allison Kruske

Judging the event this year was Kyle Evans, formerly of Ford and Chrysler and now owner of his own Design Studio.  Robert Walker, Chief Designer of Jeep Interiors also joined us.  Robert is probably best know for the newest JEEP Grand Cherokee interior.  Finally, Craig Mackiewicz, Design Studio Lead for Altair/Thinklabs and IDSA Michigan Chair offered his insights.

The view from the VIP Lounge     Photo: Allison Kruske

The view from the AACS VIP Lounge                                                                   Photo: Allison Kruske

Upstairs judges, sponsors, and the industry and creative elite canoodled in a lounge sponsored by Advanced Automotive Consulting Services (AACS) with food provided by Slow’s Bar-B-Q of Detroit.

A competitor pins his sketches to the wall to be judged  Photo: Allison Kruske

A competitor pins his sketches to the wall to be judged                                                Photo: Allison Kruske

In the first round of the competition the contestants were given a design brief – “Use the recent advances in lighting technology to create a headlamp theme that helps brand a vehicle”.

Round 1 Lighting theme    Photo: Jon Adams

Round 1 Lighting theme                                                                                        Photo: Jon Adams

The field was then narrowed to 3 finalists who after a break, sat down again to sketch in the final round.

The 3 finalists      Photo: Jon Adams

The 3 finalists                                                                                                        Photo: Jon Adams

And the winner is:

The Judges pick the winner sketch   Photo: Allison Kruske

The Judges pick the winneing sketch                                                                                      Photo: Allison Kruske

Sketchmaster Graham Wright   Photo: Allison Kruske

Sketchmaster Graham Wright posing with the Trophy from QMC                               Photo: Allison Kruske

All the while the competition was going on in the Tangent Gallery, next door at the Hastings Street Ballroom DJ Slide 91 was delivering tunes ……. as guests partied around classic and modified vehicles provided by Classic Design Concepts, Midwest Motorclub and select individuals.

DJ Slide 91  Photo: Allie Kruske

DJ Slide 91 Photo: Allie Kruske

Porsche Targa provided by Midwest MotorClub   Photo: Allison Kruske

Michael Chetcuti of QMC apparently loves the Porsche Targa provided by Midwest MotorClub       Photo: Allison Kruske

A guest enjoys the Porsche Speester   Photo: Allie Kruske

A guest enjoys the Porsche Intermeccanica Speedster brought by David Laing            Photo: Allie Kruske

Guests in the AACS VIP room     Photo: Allison Kruske

Guests in the AACS VIP room                                                                                               Photo: Allison Kruske

We should not forget the event was a benefit for the Kunsthalle Museum of Contemporary Art.  The evening raised over $500 for the museum.

Kunsthalle Detroit   Photo: AACS

Kunsthalle Detroit                                                                               Photo: AACS

The theme of lighting was chosen as the Design Brief for the contestants because the museum has numerous neon and lighting installations.  Unfortunately at the last minute a pipe burst at the museum and we lost some of the square footage.  If you would like to make a donation to the museum, please click this link.

Organizer FaShon Vega flanked by guests     Photo: Allie Kruske

Organizer FaShon Vega flanked by guests                                                                  Photo: Allie Kruske

So with the number of RSVP’s in the hundreds, the team at Middlecott Design and AACS enlisted the aid of the volunteers and had 48 hours to find a alternative venue.  Which makes this an awesome time to call out the Staff and volunteers for all their hard work.  Middlecott, Kunsthalle and AACS would like to specifically thank Blue for his organization skills and making the VIP room awesome, Robert-David for the tunes, Pete and Katie for the drinks and food,  Jessica, Abbie and Lauren for serving as hostesses, Kaiya in the coat room, Allison for her marketing and photos and Jon for his photos.

Sponsor F1PaintLab brought their race kart     Photo: Allison Kruske

Sponsor F1PaintLab brought their race kart                                                                          Photo: Allison Kruske

Events cannot happen like this without awesome Sponsors.

We should start with Quality Metalcraft for the awesome trophy, Traffic Jam & Snug for the beer, Mister DiMaggio for the visuals,  F1Paintlab for the graphics and posters, Detroit Printer for the printing.  We should also than James at Autodesk, Alex at MotoKure, Spencer of Sketch-a-Day, and Marek at Carr Magazine for the contestant prizes.  Finally thanks to IDSA and Detroit Creative Corridor for helping promote the event.

Brook and Judith Banham of Middlecott Design   Photo: Jon Adams

Brook and Judith Banham of Middlecott Design                                                            Photo: Jon Adams

And let me not forget my partners in this event – Brook and Judith of Middlecott and Tate of the Kunsthalle.

TO SEE ALL THE PICTURES PLEASE CLICK THIS LINK

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About Frank Schwartz

Frank Schwartz is the founder of CarFriend.me and Advanced Automotive Consulting Services, partner in The Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment and serial entrepeneur. A long time automotive enthusiast, Frank started reading car magazines at the age of 8 and has spent 30+ years working inside the automotive industry. In his spare time Frank races with the Sports Car Club of America, spends time working on his numerous project cars and supports many local charities.
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One Response to Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment™ 2014 Afterparty

  1. Pingback: Not your Average Car Show – Car Battle 2014 | thesupplierblog

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