Students, faculty and community members filled the auditorium in Joel L. Fletcher Hall at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette on Friday, Oct. 20, where they learned about design modeling from two of Ford Motor Company’s own modelers.
Lloyd VandenBrink, manager of the Ford Truck Studio, led a presentation about design modeling in the automotive industry. VandenBrink discussed the history and the process of design modeling as well as some of the changes the process has been through.
“In the studio, how dynamic they move around and how much collaboration they can do with other departments, I guess, or other fields of expertise, which I thought was pretty neat,” Michael Goehler, a second-year industrial design student, said.
VandenBrink explained the importance of clay and how, for now, it is the best way to demonstrate a physical representation of what the vehicle is supposed to look like. The presentation showed a video that quickly demonstrated the making of a full-size car out of clay and how the process works.
“As a designer, we are constantly dealing with form, and clay is a beautiful media to develop form,” said Jerry Malinowski, a professor for the School of Architecture and Design at UL Lafayette and the industrial design coordinator.
Malinowski used to work in the field and was a member of the team that designed the first Ford Mustang.
The presentation touched on the different types of models, whether it be physical or digital, and the future of design modeling. The possibility of using virtual reality was brought up, but VandenBrink said he would still prefer clay.
The other representative from Ford was UL Lafayette alumnus Jason Mosery. Mosery graduated in May 2015 in industrial design and now works at Ford’s Product Development Center as a clay modeler.
“Being able to see jobs and people in the jobs that are actually real people you can talk to and have knowledge that they can bestow upon you is awesome,” Goehler added, talking about the importance of presentations in which ideas are freely transmitted.
VandenBrink and Mosery answered questions from the audience about the process of designing cars, what students need to know before graduating, and how they managed to fit to full size cars into the auditorium.
As part of the presentation, and a later workshop, two full-size models and two models that were 4:10 scale, about two-fifths the size of a full-size replica, were brought in. Models of a Mustang and a F-150 truck sat in front of the audience for them to see exactly what the final product of design modeling will look like.
After the presentation, there was a short intermission where audience members were allowed to look at the models up close and even touch them. This time also allowed students to ask questions and have Mosery explain some simple steps in the clay modeling process.
After the intermission, VandenBrink and Mosery led detailed workshops that demonstrated more in depth steps in creating and designing models.
“I think it’s really helpful for the development of our aspirations of getting a career,” Goehler said.