APU SoMAD students and faculty win big at Wheel Rims Design Challenge

APU SoMAD students and faculty win big at Wheel Rims Design Challenge
  • 18 contestants secured spots in Top 32 for the competition
  • Three out of 18 contestants advanced to Top 10 positions

APU’s Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Design student Bryan Teh Yea Quan (2nd right) receives a cash prize and trophy from members of the organising committee Andrew Thu (left), Henry Tho and Loh Tze Jye.

Beyond their crucial role in enhancing the overall driving experience, a rim design that harmoniously blends artistic elements with engineering becomes essential to satisfying one’s aesthetic desires.

Few know this better than Bryan Teh Yea Quan, a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Design student from the School of Media, Arts and Design (SoMAD) at Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU). Teh achieved the title of champion in the prestigious Art of Wheels: Rim Design Challenge 2022. Organized by Giant Light Metal Technology Malaysia (GLM), this esteemed competition recognized Teh for his exceptional talent in crafting remarkable wheel rims specifically tailored for a Porsche.

The competition kicked off with a turnout of over 50 participants from local universities. Each participant was tasked with designing rims for Porsche sports car models, aligning with technical specifications and catering to the preferences of target consumers aged between 18 and 40. After careful evaluation, the top 32 qualifiers progressed to the next phase, where Porsche car owners themselves had the honor of shortlisting the top 10 qualifiers during the judging session.

Subsequently, the designs of the finalists were sent to Kunshan, China, for production, enabling professional judges and car owners to evaluate them based on the physical rims. The winners, deserving of their accolades, were unveiled in mid-October 2022. Among the esteemed panel of judges, APU’s Chief Innovation & Enterprise Officer, Prof. Dr. Vinesh Thiruchelvam, served as an honorary judge, lending his expertise to the competition.

Crediting his accomplishment to the school, Teh expressed, “SoMAD played a vital role in realizing my vision through practical guidance, employing cutting-edge design software and equipment, and providing invaluable feedback from experienced lecturers. All of these factors steered me in the right direction.”

SoMAD APU emerged as the ultimate victor in this competition, spanning from June 2022 to March 2023. Alongside Teh’s triumph, an impressive total of 18 contestants from APU secured spots in the Top 32, with three of them advancing to the Top 10 and achieving victory as well. Notably, Saifullizan Abdul Wahab, an Industrial Design Lecturer, garnered the title of first runner-up, while Kenneth Sanderson, a Bachelor of Arts in Product Design student, received a consolation prize.

APU’s contestants exhibited a remarkable display of the neo-trend style in wheel rim design, exemplifying a profound understanding of wheel features, particularly the utilization of lightweight aluminum alloy materials. Their designs not only showcased a keen sense of aesthetics but also demonstrated the crucial ability for mass production through the incorporation of state-of-the-art wheel manufacturing technologies.

During the prize-giving ceremony on April 3, 2023, the trio was honored with cash prizes and trophies, and their award-winning designs were exhibited on a Porsche. The presence of Loh Tze Jye, the Organizing Chairman, Henry Tho, Chairman of GLM, and Andrew Thu, Branch Manager of GLM, added to the significance of the event. 

Subsequently, these exceptional designs were showcased at the Malaysia Autoshow 2023 from May 4 to 7, where the organizers actively participated.

Reflecting on the challenges and trials he faced from phase 1 to the final stage, Teh, reminisced, “I devoted approximately four months to the project, consistently refining the design to meet the competition’s requirements. By investing time in research and comprehending both my client’s needs and the car’s characteristics, I established vital design criteria and allowed my creativity to flourish before refining the designs to align more closely with those criteria.”

Teh further emphasized that this victory serves as a launching pad for him to seize greater opportunities and firmly believes that with a steadfast commitment to learning, he will continue to evolve and thrive as a designer. He is determined to make significant contributions to the realm of transport design, driven by a passion to leave a meaningful impact.

Teh received invaluable guidance from his mentors, Saifullizan Abdul Wahab and Christine Lim Pei Shin, who are lecturers at SoMAD. Saifullizan, with expertise in transport design and proficiency in computer-aided design-based modules like 3D Design and Advanced 3D Visualization, also provided mentorship to Kenneth Sanderson in collaboration with his colleague from the industrial design program, Teay Siew Yen. In a show of dedication, Saifullizan actively participated in the competition and secured the first runner-up prize, further motivating his students.

The rim design challenge served as an eye-opening experience for designers, expanding their horizons and deepening their understanding of the evolving lifestyle demands in the alloy wheel market. It necessitates the integration of alloy materials to achieve a new level of functionality, durability, aesthetics, and overall quality performance. These aspects are highly valued by both automakers and customers, creating a demand for designs that deliver an exceptional experience.

In summary, the Art of Wheels: Rim Design Challenge 2022 proved to be an exceptional platform for young designers to exhibit their talents and showcase their skills in the dynamic realm of transport design.

“This was an inspiring experience that fostered collaboration between students and academic staff, leading to the advancement of design knowledge, the expansion of creativity, and the cultivation of innovative thinking. Moreover, it served as a remarkable opportunity to promote the APU brand and establish fruitful collaborations with industries,” expressed Vinesh.