Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment™ Detroit moves to the historic St. Andrew’s Hall

There is no better place for a Sketch-battle, than a building made famous by rap battles, St Andrew’s Hall.   On Tuesday, January 16th, 2018, designers from around the globe will compete against last year’s returning champion and the Las Vegas and Los Angeles winners in “The Fight Club of Design”.  An interesting note is that this is just 2 days short of the 80 years’ anniversary of the first meeting in the building.

20171207_151109St. Andrew’s Hall and The Shelter in the basement, are trendsetting venues in the Detroit music scene, and now they add art and design to their repertoire.  Car designers will join famous breakthrough artists who have played at the iconic venue such as Iggy Pop, Bob Dylan, The Verve, Nirvana, R.E.M., Jane’s Addiction, Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Green Day, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Love and Rockets, the Cramps, and more. Many people will recognize the stage in the basement as featured in the rap battle scene in the movie 8 Mile.


Great events happen because of great staff and great partners.  The team at BASF has a history of supporting the design community and  giving up-and-coming design talent the chance to showcase their skills in front of important industry decision makers.   Color is what turns vehicles into emotional products, and in this arena  BASF has immense expertise and makes the perfect partner for the event.   So the final championship round will be based on a new exciting color from BASF that includes never before revealed technologies.  The fact that the party is a fun diversion from the seriousness of the industry we all work in and the competition is exciting to watch is just a wonderful bonus. 

Other partners and supporters include Lacks Enterprises, who will be providing the theme for the second round of the competition.  The sketchers will be asked to portray a sketch that blends Lacks Enterprises finish technologies into a seamless flow of form, surface and texture.   The opening round theme has been provided by HARMAN, and the battlers will be asked to sketch a vehicle incorporating one of Harman’s brands.

Lacks and Harman, are joined by several other supporters of art and design, namely Covestro and Linkage Design.  Covestro, a world-leading manufacturer of high-tech polymer materials for key industries such as automotive.  Covestro’s vision “To make the world a brighter place,”  and to push the boundaries of what is possible makes them an ideal partner for the Sketchbattle.  Linkage Design is one of the leading providers of design resources, design solutions & training, with an emphasis on providing these design services by utilizing advanced digital design tools like; AutoDesk Alias Surface & Automotive, ICEM Surf, Photoshop, Maya and others.  Linkage recruits and employs an elite mix of degreed industrial designers and digital sculptors who work in our customer?s design studios or in one of our three worldwide studios in Detroit, Greensboro, NC and the UK.

Above is the defending Detroit Sketchmaster Casey Swasenger, accepting his gorgeous title belt from Mobsteel and check for last year’s win.  He is joined by Las Vegas Sketchmaster Dany Chhang na d Los Angeles Sketchmaster Xander Wang.  In the Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment™ both students and professionals alike will compete head to head by sketching in front of the audience in a 3-round competition.

The contestants’ sketches will be judged on the quality of their sketches and how successfully they meet the theme of each round within the time frame provided.  The winner will get a check for $2,500 compliments of BASF, their winning sketch turned into a full 3D model by Lacks Enterprises, a special audio gift from HARMAN and finally, but not least, the awesome Title Belt created by the folks from Mobsteel because this is the Fight Club of Design!

TED_8237Come back in the days ahead to learn more about the activities at the                           Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment™ Detroit and check out these other posts:

  • Our judging panel (2017 judges are show above)
  • The contestants
  • Our partners

IMG_7316And don’t forget to make a donation in advance – and come and make a bid on the silent auction items.

We expect a rather long line at the event and having your tickets in advance will shorten your queue time.  Also don’t forget we support students with deeply discounted advance tickets.

Tickets for the 2018 Detroit event can be found here

Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment Detroit 2018 v7

About BASF

BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has nearly 17,500 employees in North America, and had sales of $17.4 billion in 2015. For more information about BASF’s North American operations, visit www.basf.us.

At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The approximately 112,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into five segments: Chemicals, Performance Products, Functional Materials & Solutions, Agricultural Solutions and Oil & Gas. BASF generated sales of more than €70 billion in 2015. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN). Further information at www.basf.com.

About BASF Automotive Refinish

BASF’s Automotive Refinish business manufactures and markets coatings for the collision repair, commercial fleet and automotive specialty markets. Its paint products are supported by technical training programs, advanced color information systems, business management and planning tools. For more information visit http://www.basfrefinish.com

The Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment™ is presented by

            AACS and Middlecott Design.

AACS_diagram_whitelogoAACS (Advanced Automotive Consulting Services, LLC) is a business development consultancy working in all aspects of the automotive industry.  AACS specializes in helping automotive suppliers with their difficult objectives like introducing new technologies, expanding business onto new continents or breaking down walls to bring in new customers. We are experts in customer engagement!

b58cab33960182-56be35ad7e1fbMIDDLECOTT Design is an international design organization based in Detroit, Michigan. As Detroit’s premier design consultancy, MIDDLECOTT will supercharge your brand through its award-winning formula of high-octane design.

For the 2018 auto show edition of the Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment™, we are proud to bring together the Detroit Art and Business Community with assorted engineers, designers and gearheads to celebrate Automotive Design, all the while benefiting Project Beautiful – Inside and Out.  

Slide1Project Beautiful – Inside and Out is a  501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was created “to build confidence and inspire hope as individuals and families …in our community…. rebuild their lives”.   This is especially important for women in shelters and similar situations.  The charity provides some “niceties” in addition to the “necessities” (a roof over their heads, meals, clothing, etc.) which will help build confidence and inspire hope in these individuals when they need it most.

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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