Meet the team behind #MSBEXP Part 1

Another fantastic post from Kristin Shaw (spelled it right, I did) MIDDLECOTT is an international design organization based in Detroit, Michigan. Brook Banham is the creative mind behind the Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment™ and the owner of Middlecott Design. Transportation and industrial designer Brook Banham and graphic designer Judith Grubinger Banham founded MIDDLECOTT in 2008 to create contemporary and dynamic design solutions for the needs of small and global companies alike.middlecott

Beyond the confluence of their individual talents and extensive experience (including work with Puma and BMW) the duo are able to bolster their own offerings by pulling from a global pool of brilliant writers, engineers, CAD specialists, photographers, and other industry contacts in order to ensure that the proper expertise is brought to every project they are assigned. In this way, MIDDLECOTT is able to work efficiently both as a small self-contained unit and the leader of a larger, keenly selected team depending on the needs of a given client.1b112325514691.56346831ed2d9.jpg

This flexibility allows MIDDLECOTT to operate on a scale that best fits the task at hand, offering a personalized experience and saving time and cost through eliminating unnecessary manpower and corporate hierarchy.


000a6d18826865.562cff8bef829Middlecott founder, Brook Banham began drawing cars when he was a young boy. With his father as an influencer, Brook was given early exposure to the automotive industry. His father would bring home Pontiac Firebirds and worked on Jaguar XK120 in the garage. Brook attributes the smell of the garage for getting the “petrol in his veins.” Brook’s mother was an artist, with her talents in interior design. It is no surprise that as a child of an artist and automotive expert, that Brook found a liking to automotive design. He remembers sitting at the table drawing cars.


4cbd5712206415.5626cbd608658Fast forward to his education as an adult. Brook was at boarding school in England and was undecided on his academic future – but he knew it was design. After finding an ad in the paper, looking for Jaguar car designers – Brook looked into the requirements. This is how he ended up deciding on car design and Coventry University.


In the remainder of his time at boarding school, Brook focused his efforts to design and developed a portfolio. This portfolio landed Brook in the Transport Design program at Coventry.


Brook took the first job he could before he even graduated. Fila Sport Spa came to Coventry looking for fresh thinkers. When they asked Brook to work for them on shoe design in Venice, Italy, Brook said “Hell Yeah.” He continued freelancing for the company for 3 or 4 years after the internship. Brook’s biggest takeaway from that company was that the large company presented politics that he didn’t want a part of.


Brook’s favorite car is a Lamborgini, followed closely by Aston Martins. Brook calls Lamborghinis, “Ferrari on steroids,” and sees Aston Martins as a higher-end Jaguar. Aside from Lambos and Astons – Brook favors the DeLorean for it’s lack of paint and futuristic proportions; the second-generation Dodge Chrysler because it’s “bad-ass” and the 71’ Pontiac Firebird for styling and proportions. Brook seeks inspiration from his peers. “I see something fresh pop-up on my internet feeds, and get inspired,” said Brook. He is also inspired by his wife and partner, Judith. Brook appreciates her for opening his eyes to new perspectives. Brook also finds inspiration from favorite designers. Names like Syd Mead and Daniel Simon make that list.


Brook’s most recent project is with Dino from Dino’s Rods and Customs. Brook is taking Dino’s dream of a futuristic sports car and executing it into a reality.

Middlecott founded the biannual MIDDLECOTT SKETCHBATTLE EXPERIMENT™.

About Frank Schwartz

Frank Schwartz is the founder of 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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