Who is the newest Sketchmaster? Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment™ Detroit 2018

Many people consider Detroit the center of the automotive design universe because for all practical purposes it was invented here.  There are those who argue that California may now be the center of advanced design considering how many studios are located there.  But no where on earth is there the amount of concentration of design as here, right in our backyard.  2 Design Schools, 7 OEM Design Offices and many, many more supplier design studios mean that Detroit has the highest concentration of automotive designers of anyplace else in the world.  So it is only fitting that Detroit and historic St. Andrew’s Hall was host to the penultimate round of the Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment™


Photo Credit: Ingo Rautenberg

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NAIAS 2018 – Where’s the Engagement?

EDITORIAL – As soon as I hit the floor Monday morning, I could tell something was off at this year’s NAIAS (North American International Auto Show).  Initially, I thought it was just my typical pre-event exhaustion, as the team at AACS usually spends the week working late nights and long hours preparing for our annual Sketchbattle and working on our annual client strategic plans.  But it soon became clear that others in the industry felt the same way.  through the past week their tweets and Facebook posts, editorials and articles confirmed my worst fears. The pre-public part of the auto show is dying, and in Detroit they are replacing it with a trade show.

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Meet the Themes – Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment™ Detroit 2018

In the beginning, boxing fights continued until one fighter quit or was knocked out.  Brutal but effective.  In the 1920’s 15 rounds was adopted as the norm for championship fights. Still brutal.  It was reduced to 12 rounds in 1982 after an especially sad event.  The Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment™ has knockouts, but thankfully no designers are injured during the event (provided you don’t consider their egos).  Yet the fight is only 3 rounds long.  Why?  Because we have 3 great themes and even more great partners.T7__8090 Continue reading

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Meet the Judges – Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment™ Detroit 2018

Professional and student sketch-battlers will be vying for the title of World Champion Sketchmaster when the Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment™ presented by BASF comes to Detroit.  The “Fight Club of Design” party features a live sketching competition, great music and greater cars on Tuesday, January 16th from 7-11:30pm at world famous Saint Andrew’s Hall.  Over the years the event has been judged by a unique cross-industry of experts and design luminaries such as Camilo Pardo, Ralph Gilles of FCA, Doyle Letson of Ford, Bregt Ectors of GM and many others.  The panel gets to choose who receives the $2500 top prize by BASF.  For Detroit 2018, Jim Fleming of Cadillac will be the Chief Judge, and will be joined by Mark Trostle of FCA and Michael Smith of Ford of Tesla, along with guest judges for each themed round.IMG_1176Jon Adams Photo LtoR Frank Schwartz, Ian Bass student winner, Brook Banham, Destiny Driftmeyer ring girl, Camilo Pardo, Casey Swasenger winner.jpg Continue reading

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Meet the Contestants – Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment™ Detroit 2018

Perhaps the greatest mix of design talent the Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment™ has ever assembled will fight to the death on the main floor of world famous St. Andrew’s Hall Tuesday night January 16th.  And while we do not expect any to have physical injuries from 3 rounds of sketching (other than blisters on their fingers), we cannot say the same for their egos.  As per usual, students and professionals alike will compete in three 30 minute rounds with roughly half eliminated after every round.  So, without further delay, read on to meet the sketch-battlers……26166471_1558406000912999_7416018128162307866_n Continue reading

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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.

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“Nailed It!” Los Angeles crowns a new Sketchmaster

Normally, to find the center of automotive design, you have to come to Detroit, home of Harley Earl and Virgil Exner.  But for a singular evening in November, the center of the entire automotive design universe was at AutomobilityLA in Los Angeles as part of the Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment™ presented by BASF.  17 sketch-battlers fought it out over three rounds to determine the best-of-the-best and crown the new Sketchmaster.  Read on to find out who won……TED_8135 Continue reading

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