Academy Students Create Next-Generation Yacht Designs for America’s Cup
Students in the Academy’s School of Industrial Design
have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to design a yacht for the Chinese national team’s 2016 America’s Cup entry. The China Team, which raced in the 2012 America’s Cup in San Francisco, challenged the students to design next-generation concepts for consideration for the 2016 America’s Cup.
The announcement was made at a dinner to welcome the China Team to San Francisco. “San Francisco and China have strong cultural and economic ties, and we are excited about this partnership between Academy of Art University and the America’s Cup China Team,” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. “We are all excited to see what the students will create for the China Team for the highly anticipated America’s Cup races in 2016.”
The students, who are currently in the sketch phase of the design process, have begun their exploration into the future of yacht design by researching and understanding advancements in aerodynamics and fluid dynamics. China Team representatives, in San Francisco for the America’s Cup World Series, reviewed the students’ initial design concepts and will soon select the one they want the students to pursue. At that time, students will begin developing a digital model of the design, which will be followed by building a physical model.
“With China Team competing in the America’s Cup here in San Francisco, our students had a unique opportunity to witness in person what they have a chance to impact with their design in 2016,” said Academy President Elisa Stephens. “The Academy’s hands-on learning approach is all about preparing students with the skills they are going to need to not only get jobs in their field of study, but to contribute and add value on day one. This opportunity to design a world-class racing vessel for China Team is exactly the kind of experience we want our students to have before they graduate, and we are grateful for this partnership with China Team.”
In 1998, the Academy’s Industrial Design School
launched a transportation design program that is now among the most competitive in the world. Year after year, Academy students are hired by companies like BMW DesignWorks, Volvo Track, General Motors, Chrysler, Tesla and Volkswagen — among others. This year, in addition to the China Team project, the Industrial Design
program formed a partnership with Chrysler that will provide students an opportunity to work on another design challenge: to come up with compelling concepts that address the future of Chrysler’s presence in the world of megacities predicted for 2025. Students will be designing a vehicle for youth living in a megacity like San Francisco, and they will be required to do everything from researching the target market to designing a vehicle that suits the restraints of an urban environment.