BASF announced that Omar Gonzalez won the 2016 Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment, presented by BASF. Introduced in 2012, the experiment is Detroit’s first-ever “Fight Club of Design,” an underground automotive industry event developed to identify emerging design talent.
The event coincides with the Detroit Auto Show, and is an automotive sketching competition where contestants battle for the championship. Fourteen contestants competed under pressure in front of an audience in a timed, three-round, boxing-themed setting.
“Sketchbattle is an amazing event that enables emerging industry talent to shine,” said Paul Czornij, technical manager for the BASF Color Excellence Group and Sketchbattle judge. “These artists and designers are the future of the automotive industry.”
Other judges included: Ralph Gilles, head of design, FCA – Global; Bregt Ectors, global strategic design manager, Buick; and Kemal Curic, design manager, Ford Mustang.
“It was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had, and I was extremely impressed by the audience and judges,” said Gonzalez, a native of Mexico who recently graduated from Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon (UANL) in Monterrey, Mexico, in the Industrial Design program. “It was a pleasure to sketch live for all of them. Middlecott Sketchbattle is a great platform for young designers to make connections inside the automotive industry.”
To add interest to the competition, sketchers incorporated colors developed by the BASF automotive color excellence group to celebrate the company’s 150th anniversary in 2015. Four colors were developed, one for each of BASF’s global regions: Arjean Silver for North America, Nightfall Blue for South America, Solaric Green for Europe and Fresh Mint for Asia-Pacific. A different color was used for each round of the competition.
“The use of BASF colors in this year’s competition presented the contestants with a unique design opportunity to convey their dreams in color in 30 minutes or less,” said Frank Schwartz, co-owner and partner, Middlecott Sketchbattle. “The anniversary colors brought the designers’ passions to the forefront, and the judges had a very difficult time choosing a winner, although Omar’s consistency throughout the evening helped bring him the award.”