Trite but true, the third time was a charm for Vincent Piaskowski, winner of the ninth annual Drive for Design contest now staged by Chrysler’s newest owner, Stellantis. Piaskowski, a high school student in Michigan, finished in third place in the contest in 2019 and was runner-up in 2020.
The competition is staged annually to educate and encourage students to pursue careers in automotive design.
The challenge for 2021 was to design an electric-powered Jeep vehicle within the 10-week deadline. Judging was done by members of the Stellantis North America design staff.
“What’s exciting about this competition now is that we’re seeing previous students enter, but with notable improvements from the previous years,” Mark Trostle, head of Ram truck and Mopar exterior design, is quoted. “Students are digging deep and focusing their attention not only on the details, but the thought process of automotive design. It’s encouraging and exciting to see young artists take this competition seriously.”
Trostle created the Drive for Design contest in 2013 based on a competition he had won when he was in high school. He credits his own experience in that earlier contest for encouraging him to become an automotive designer.
In addition to Piaskowski, a high school senior, other winners in 2021 were runner-up and Michigan 10th-grader Rocco Morales and third-placing California high school senior Alex Wang.
“Since the contest began, we’ve been able to help young artists establish a career path in automotive design,” said Trostle. “We’ve employed previous contestants as summer interns and today one of our former winners is working in the Ram Truck interior design studio. It’s rewarding to our team to be able make an impact on someone’s career.”
Prizes include one-on-one mentoring time with leading designers at the Stellantis Design Studios and a scholarship to attend the College for Creative Studies virtual summer design program.