Two promising student designers from the Academy’s School of Industrial Design have been awarded Phil Hill Scholarships. The scholarships, named for legendary Formula One driver Phil Hill and administered by the Academy in partnership with the Pebble Beach Foundation, were presented to automotive design students Haman Ezzati and Ali Moosavi at an August 14 ceremony during the annual Pebble Beach Automotive Week.
The two-year scholarships are valued at $50,000 each and will further the educational paths of this year’s winners, both of whom are pursuing BFA degrees with a concentration in transportation design.
Ezzati, 27, was born in Iran and raised in Norway. He enjoys studying different cultures and is fluent in Norwegian, Swedish, English, Danish, Persian and Kurdish. Ezzati has explored artistic paths since childhood—from experimental cooking to music—but credits Academy Industrial Design Executive Director Tom Matano with introducing him to his most rewarding form of creativity: car design. His favorite classic automobiles are the 1952 Alfa Disco Volante and Jaguar E-type.
Moosavi, 22, has aspired to be a car designer since graduating from high school. Born in San Francisco, Moosavi was raised in Tracy, Calif., and has traveled extensively. He’s a self-described perfectionist, admitting that his portfolio is under constant reconstruction. In the future, he hopes to complete a Ph.D. program, land a position at Volkswagen in Germany, and design something that will touch many lives. His all-time favorite car is the Ferrari Testarossa.
“Both are really strong talents with a great future ahead of them,” says Matano, an industry veteran who held design positions at Mazda, General Motors and BMW for nearly three decades prior to joining the Academy.
Car design and the art of car restoration have long been a passion of Dr. Elisa Stephens, president of the Academy of Art University. Her family’s extensive rare car collection is showcased at the Academy of Art University Automobile Museum in San Francisco and provides inspiration for design students wishing to study and draw classic cars.
“The Academy is devoted to having the best auto design program in the world, and the Phil Hill Scholarships are part of the program’s continued success. We’re very proud of Haman and Ali,” says Stephens.
Last year’s 2013 Phil Hill Scholarship recipients, Jack Liu and Omead Dorandish, recently completed summer internships at Volvo Truck and Nissan Design, respectively.
The Pebble Beach Company Foundation Phil Hill Scholarships program was founded in 2009 and supports students pursuing degrees in fields related to Hill’s many passions, including automobiles.
Academy Auto Museum’s 1931 Ruxton Awarded
At this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance car judging event on August 17, a 1931 Ruxton Sedan owned by the Stephens family won third place in its class. It is believed to be one of only 11 known Ruxton Sedans and one of only 19 known surviving Ruxtons. An innovative front-wheel-drive design, this Ruxton has a 100-horsepower Continental straight-eight engine mated to a three-speed manual transaxle and four-wheel hydraulic brakes. The car was acquired by the Stephens family in 2013.
About the School of Industrial Design
The Academy of Art University School of Industrial Design, which includes automobile design and other transportation fields, helps prepare students to be ready to work in the industry upon graduation. In addition to traditional hand drawing, digital drawing and rendering classes, students take 3-D model-making studio classes. Since the industrial design program launched in 1998, Academy graduates have been hired by BMW Designworks, GM, Mazda, Toyota, Ford, Chrysler, Fox Racing, Black & Decker, Adidas, Camelbak, Hasbro, Mattel, LG Electronics, Microsoft, Nike, Samsung, Fuseproject, Sony, Skechers, North Face, Tesla Motors and Timbuk2.