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“A dream of a lifetime” is how 20 year-old design student Sam McCafferty describes winning an internship at the Honda Research and Development department in Rome.
The internship is the result of collaboration between Massey University’s School of Design and Honda Research and Development in Rome. The international motorcycle manufacturer was aware that ‘Gen Z’ (16 – 22 year-olds) seem reluctant to embrace the motorcycle as an alternative mode of transport, and they were keen to find out what would appeal to this age group.
As part of the Transport Design paper, students from the School of Design at the Albany and Wellington campuses took up the challenge to design a motorcycle that would appeal to them. Of the 24 designs submitted, three were developed further and the winning design was then taken from the page and made into a life-size form.
A core team of eight students worked long hours over several weeks to translate Mr McCafferty’s design into full 3-D form using specialised clay donated by German automotive clay manufacturer Staedtler-Mars, and a new Honda CBR125 frame as the base. The model is the first full scale clay motorcycle model created at the School of Design and one of only a handful of full-scale clay models in New Zealand.
The quality of ideas and level of design skills impressed the Research & Development Boards in Italy and Japan, and Mr McCafferty’s internship is a rare opportunity to experience the inner workings of the Research & Development department of a global company. “I’m really looking forward to going to Italy,” says Mr McCafferty. “I’ve loved motorcycles since I was young, and always wanted to design a motorcycle. I couldn’t have done it without the team – they worked really hard to translate the ideas from the page into this design, evolving it along the way.”
School of Design Senior Lecturer Oliver Neuland is proud of his students’ work, and the results they have achieved. “Motorcycles are deeply emotional products, and the subject of many irrational preconceptions,” he says. “These students were able to examine the issues of sustainable transport faced in their lifetime, and find a way to create an alternative solution that would appeal to their generation. They also learned valuable skills creating this clay model.”
The motorcycle is currently on display at Octane Books & Techbooks in Newmarket, Auckland until the 5th of June, before being transported to Wellington to go on display at the College of Creative Arts.